The tournament was first played in 1970 with a new concept being introduced to the area, round-robin play, and therefore was first called the Richmond Round-Robin. The tournament grew through the years and the players began referring to the event as the World’s Largest Softball Tournament, which at one time reached 424 teams from eighteen states.
The first event drew 32 teams and at its peak the tournament had as many as 424 teams. Teams have come from Florida, Canada, California, everywhere in between, and even a military team from Iceland. Players have included super bowl quarterback Stan Humphries, NBA star Dell Curry, and a couple of unknown Canadian players who have played in the National Hockey League. One assistant tournament director, Tracy Woodson, later won a World Series ring with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Several national championship softball teams have been a part of the tournament’s history.
The tournament now is much smaller in the number of teams but still each year draws teams from ten or more states. Other unique features in the tournament include: all teams advance from bracket play to the playoffs, players are allowed to hit the ball over the fence and not be called out.
The originator and founder of this tournament, H. Franklin Taylor, III, died on May 15, 2012 from Myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS which is a blood disorder where the bone marrow shuts down and does not produce red or white cells or platelets.