JUPITER, Fla. -- Everybody talks about the golf carts. Sure enough, you can't attend the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship at the Roger Dean Sports Complex without seeing the endless rows of golf carts ... and possibly dodging a few carts along the way.
There are golf carts for the pro scouts and college coaches, golf carts for tournament directors, golf carts for Perfect Game employees, golf carts for umpires. If you want to catch as much action at the tournament as possible, you need a golf cart to visit all 13 fields at the Dean Sports Complex without wasting time, or getting tired from walking.
The Perfect Game staff was busy Wednesday putting the final touches on the WWBA World Championship, which begin Thursday with 85 teams vying for the top prize. There were folks hanging banners, erecting tents, inspecting jerseys, checking radar guns, stacking countless boxes of baseballs, arranging programs, putting scouting packets together, preparing scorebooks and doing all the other "little" things that help make this tournament a truly outstanding event.
The 85 teams have been assigned to 17 pools. The games begin Thursday at 3 p.m., and by the time the championship game is played on Monday there will have been 190 games on 13 fields. All 85 teams will play four pool games, and the pool champs advance to the playoffs on Sunday.
This is the 12th Annual WWBA World Championship, and this year's event will feature a new attraction with the Bo Jackson 5-Tool Championship on Saturday night at Roger Dean Stadium. Jackson was one of the greatest 5-tool players in baseball history, and this year's event will help determine which of the elite players in this year's event will be crowned the "Bo Jackson" champion for 2009. It promises to be a fun event with numerous Aflac All-Americans and many other highly ranked players in the field.
The ABD Bulldogs from California won the 2008 title, and the Bulldogs return to Jupiter with another strong club that appears capable of winning the title again. But there are many strong teams in the tournament, and Perfect Game analyst David Rawnsley has tabbed the All-American Prospects, Canes, Cangelosi Baseball, East Cobb Baseball, Midland Braves/Royals Scout Team, Ohio Warhawks, Royals Baseball Club, San Gabriel Valley Arsenal, Texas Scout Team Yankees and ABD Bulldogs as some of the possible favorites.
The Roger Dean Sports Complex opened in 1998. The St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins hold spring training at the complex, which is spread over 110 acres of land.
Let the games begin.