For almost two decades the NFCA has produced some of the nation's best collegiate softball tournaments over all divisions. It began in 1996 with the original Leadoff Classic for Division I teams in Columbus, Ga. Now in its 18th year, the annual event is still going strong and will feature some of the biggest names in Division I softball in 2013 such as Michigan, Louisiana Lafayette and USF. In 2012, the Leadoff moved to its new home, the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in sunny Clearwater, Fla.
From the original Leadoff was born another tournament for other divisions that takes place annually while operating on a rotating basis between Division III, junior college and NAIA teams. In 2013, 28 of the top Division III teams in the country will travel to Columbus, Ga., to compete over March 8-10 in an event that consistently features multiple teams that go on to compete for a national title. The 2014 tournament will highlight the country's top junior college programs showcasing their talents, while in 2015 the NAIA will again be featured.
In 2013, the NFCA is again expanding its Leadoff Classic brand when it revives its Division II tournament (Feb. 15-17) in a brand new location, Tucson, Ariz.
One constant through all Leadoff Classic tournaments is the quality of teams. Participants are usually chosen through a selection process that looks at each team's record, postseason appearances and national rankings over an average period of three years. This ensures that each Leadoff will feature quality, battle-tested teams that know that any NFCA tournament will offer them a chance to play some of the best teams in the nation.
With so many years invested in collegiate tournaments, in 2010 the NFCA set out to enter into a new arena of softball tournaments: travel ball. In the fall of 2011, the NFCA held its first-ever Top Recruit tournament in Clearwater. The tournament featured some of the top 16U and 18U teams in the country and was presented in a model that was developed by college coaches to the benefit of the travel ball player and coach as well as the recruiting coaches.
In 2012, the Top Recruit brand saw its first expansion when Round Rock, Texas, was added to the annual schedule.