OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. --- After 12 years of service to the Amateur Softball Association, Barbara Thornton of Perryville, Maryland has resigned as the commissioner of Delaware ASA. Due to medical reasons, Thornton has stepped down but will still be involved in ASA during the transition.
“Unfortunately I am unable to fulfill my position as commissioner,” said Thornton. “But I am excited for someone younger to have a chance to do it and grow within the sport. Depending on my rehab, I will certainly help out the new person to make Delaware a stronger ASA program.”
Thornton was a high school athlete when she began her involvement in softball. A fast pitch player in West Grove, Pennsylvania, when the 18-year-old graduated from high school there were no leagues in the area for her to continue to play so she created one. A successful endeavor, she can remember the ASA administrators sitting in her drive way to register her league.
From there, she ran a youth fast pitch league in Pennsylvania for approximately eight years before relocating to Delaware.
“Once I was in Delaware, I became involved in coaching and was the president of leagues for about seven years,” added Thornton. “Then I can remember Rocke, our commissioner emeritus now, asking me to come to the ASA Annual Meeting and I was attracted to how the organization worked. Of course, that was when there were paper ballots!”
Years later Rocke A. Izzo retired from the Delaware ASA and recommended Thornton to apply and she has been the commissioner ever since.
For Thornton, providing an opportunity to female athletes was a major part of her mission in the ASA.
“I didn’t have opportunities when I was younger,” said Thornton. “I thought I could give a chance to these young ladies who were just like me looking to continue to play ball after high school or college.”
Looking back, for Thornton her favorite ASA memories include coaching at 14 consecutive Women’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championships, and winning three of them.
“This has been a great experience for me,” said Thornton. “I have met so many nice people and also been able to travel all across the country between the tournaments and conventions. I have really enjoyed myself but now it’s time to let someone younger in.”
Résumé’s for the Delaware ASA Commissioner position must be received at the National Office by December 3, 2008. Any questions regarding this position should be directed to Craig Cress, Director of Membership Services for the Amateur Softball Association.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 230,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit www.asasoftball.com.
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