Beverly's Momball tournament celebrates 20 years


BEVERLY — In 1999, Eileen Moffett started the Momball tournament as a community building event.

Twenty years later, on Friday, she rounded the bases at Harry Ball Field after throwing out the first pitch, to the cheers of roughly 270 players in the annual fall softball tournament.

“People love being part of this event,” said Chris Boudreau, one of the tournament’s organizers.

The tournament started with moms who have children in Beverly Public Schools. It’s since grown to also include mothers of Essex Tech, Glen Urquhart School, Harborlight Montessori and Saints Academy students. There’s also two alumni teams, for mothers whose children have moved on from Beverly schools but who want to stay connected.

This year, there are 17 teams participating in the tournament, made up of women of all abilities. There are no tryouts, Boudreau said.

“There are people that play that have never picked up a softball ever,” she said.

Boudreau said the winning team gets a “person-sized trophy” that is displayed for the year at their team’s school.

The tournament also raises money for the Beverly Public Schools and collects food and other items for Beverly Bootstraps. The teams also choose a local charity to support — this year, it’s Family Promise North Shore Boston, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness in the region.

In the last seven years, Boudreau said the tournament has raised more than $70,000 for Beverly Public Schools and other organizations.

“We’re hoping for $20,000 this year alone for the 20th anniversary,” she said.

The first games started Friday night and continue from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to at least 6 p.m. on Sunday at Harry Ball Field, 406 Essex St. All are welcome to attend.

— Cheryl Richardson

PressWhitney Buckley