Foley Sports Tourism (FST) has been fortunate to host a variety of sporting events since opening its doors. But come this Saturday, July 20, a new sport will leave its mark on the city for the first time as the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) will host the 2019 U.S. National Grappling Championship at the Foley Event Center.
While it will be a first-time event for Foley, this championship has previously been hosted in Alabama four times, as well as other cities around the country. NAGA Vice President, Joe Cuff, describes grappling as a mixture of different specialties that creates a broad appeal and interest in the sport.
“Grappling is a sport that is won by submission or by points. The sport combines aspects of multiple grappling arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, sambo, etc,” Cuff said. “It differs from wrestling because submissions are allowed but takedowns and control are a big part of the sport. It differs from MMA in that striking of any kind is not allowed.”
The NAGA U.S. National Grappling Championship anticipates 300 – 400 athletes from around the country (including Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and Alabama) to compete. FST Deputy Director, Don Dukemineer, said the FST team is anxious to host a new sport, but to also see new visitors enjoy time in the community.
“We are truly excited to welcome the participants and their families for the U.S. National Grappling Championship to Foley,” Dukemineer said. “We are committed to making [NAGAs] first experience a memorable one, and can’t wait to share all our city has to offer. With our outstanding facilities in place, we look forward to a continued partnership with NAGA in attracting future competitors to Foley for years to come.”
The NAGA U.S. National Grappling Championship kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, and there is a $15 admission charge. The public is encouraged to come attend, as Cuff describes the event as “action-packed and something you don’t get to see every day!”
For more information on this tournament or any FST event visit our event page.