Springtime for Softball in Charlottesville

Johnathan York '18
Softball Enthusiast

Henry Morris '18
NGSL Enthusiast

The UVa Law Softball Invitational is set for its 35th year on April 6-8. What started as a tournament of sixteen teams has grown into an event beloved by law students across the country.[1] Over 1,500 law students representing fifty law schools will make the pilgrimage to Charlottesville that weekend. The North Grounds Softball League, the group that organizes the tournament, is excited to continue the tradition of community, charity, and UVa softball dominance.

The Invitational’s greatest achievement is its impact on the community. Every year, a portion of the proceeds is donated to ReadyKids, a local non-profit that provides early learning education services and counseling to disadvantaged or at-risk children right here in Charlottesville. A portion of the proceeds will also go to UVa’s Public Interest Law Association, helping fund UVa Law students seeking to work in law and public service. We’re looking forward to continuing these relationships this year.

In addition to supporting some great causes, the Invitational is a convenient stage for UVa to assert its dominance over other law schools. The first Invitational was held on March 30, 1984, and had sixteen teams representing seven schools. Things quickly got heated as the coach of the William & Mary team arrived in Charlottesville and declared, “We are not only going to win your tournament, we are going to drink your beer...and burn your overrated law school to the ground.” The UVa teams took this to heart, and the 1L/2L squad made a run all the way to the championship. Thirty-five years later, the pride of protecting our grounds from visiting schools is still alive and well. With a combination of ten Championships and Runner-Up finishes over the past six years, the UVa teams have sent a message to any teams coming to Charlottesville: bring your A game.

            From everyone who has worked tirelessly to help put on this year’s invitational, we hope you all will come out and enjoy every part of the tournament. Whether it’s being a field monitor (and getting PILA hours), or cheering on the UVA teams, this truly is one of the best weekends of the year. Check out the information below to catch all the softball action.

Get involved. Here are a couple ways to join in the fun.

●      Purchase a tournament wristband: Wristbands cost $25 and get you access to the Saturday Barbecue and drink specials on Saturday night at the Corner, plus proceeds go toward a charitable donation. Wristbands can be purchased Friday night at the Biltmore from 4 to 8 p.m., or Saturday at the Park.

●      Cheer on your classmates: Look for an e-mail in the days leading up to the tournament detailing when and where the six UVa teams will be playing so everyone can come cheer them on.

The schedule. It’s a packed weekendhere’s when and where to catch the action.

●      Registration Party at the Biltmore (Friday, 4-8 p.m.): Visiting teams are welcomed to Charlottesville with another UVa Law traditiondrink specials at the Biltmore.

●      Pool play (Saturday, all day): at Copeley Field, the Park, and Darden Towe Park, teams face off in round-robin pool play to determine who will advance to Sunday.

●      Barbecue at the Park Pavilion (Saturday, 12-2 p.m.): sustenance for players, volunteers, and fans will be served up.

●      Saturday night at the Buddhist Biker Bar, featuring Gunners N’ Roses (Saturday, 8-11 p.m.): join us to wash away a day of defeat or numb the Championship jitters at Buddhist Biker Bar. The Law School’s own Gunners N’ Roses go on at 10:00 p.m.

●      Sunday single-elimination bracket (Sunday, all day): the winner of each group will compete in an NCAA-style elimination bracket, culminating in the regular and co-rec championship games at Darden Towe at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Bold Tournament Predictions. Finally, some hard-hitting analysis of what could (but probably won’t) go down at this year’s Invitational.

●      Cornell, the North Korea of law school softball, will ignore its ban, hop on another party bus, and show up in Charlottesville anyway. Dascher Pasco will lead a small but passionate group in forming a human wall between the Cornell team and the Biltmore registration party.

●      After Men’s Gold realizes that among their “top prospects” they forgot to get someone who can actually pitch, the team will call up Professor White, a.k.a. Father Softball, who will begrudgingly lead them deep into Sunday bracket play.

●      Several inter-law school romances will blossom. Get your Tinder profile updated.

●      Co-Rec Wild Things or Co-Rec America will shock the world on Sunday. With a surprising number of former college athletes and plenty of liquid courage, either team is primed to make a run.


[1] See the Law Weekly Article for the first tournament, Vol. 36 No. 20.