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History of BPA


The Baseball Players Association is a full service, National Governing Body that offers a division of play that will accommodate every team. BPA offers a division of play and a level of competition in both leagues and tournaments that all youth players can enjoy.

The National Softball Association originated in 1982 when Hugh Cantrell of Lexington, Kentucky set in motion the process to start his own softball association. Hugh originated NSA and surrounded himself that first year with key people from Kentucky, which included Eddie Cantrell and Jim Miles. In the early part of 1983, Jack Roney, Don Snopek and Bernie Livers joined them to become the original Board of Directors.

In its effort to further develop programs that strengthen the Organization’s Youth programs, the National Softball Association initiated the Baseball Players Association Program in 2000, with programs available to youth from ages 8 through 18.

Championship play begins with league play along with Qualifying Tournaments and ends with World Series Tournaments. The BPA and NSA offers over 50 levels of championship play, along with over 70 World Series events each year.

Hugh and Faye Cantrell retired, but wanted to pass the company to someone that had the same passion for the organization as they did. In December of 2016 Bill and Kathie Horton obtained the National Softball Association and are working hard to take the company to the next level by developing new programs and supporting the NSA-BPA family.

Bill began with NSA in 1989, working as local umpire, UIC, park supervisor and tournament director, State Director, Regional Director, Zone Director, Executive Vice-President and he is now President and CEO. Kathie had worked with NSA behind the scenes for many years, but since 2001 she has been the Michigan State Director for Fastpitch.

The Baseball Players Association and the National Softball Association is a full service, National Governing Body that offers a division of play that will accommodate every team. The administrative core of the organization and its national office is located in Nicholasville, Kentucky. The National Softball Association Board of Director’s establishes policies, operating procedures and control of all the programs carried out by the National Headquarters.

The Rules and Regulations of the Baseball Players Association have been developed over the years, based upon the experience, both good and bad, of the umpires, coaches and players involved in BPA baseball. Those recommended changes are then discussed and ruled upon at the NSA-BPA National Convention. Those changes are then passed to the National Board of Directors, which are then finalized for use in the NSA and BPA Organization. It is that procedure that has made the National Softball Association and the Baseball Players Association, the “Players Organization”.

In the year of 1992, the National Softball Association elected its first members to its Hall of Fame. The first honored inductee in the Director Category was its founder Hugh Cantrell. Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger) was honored as the first inductee in the Meritorious Category and Bruce Meade was the first inductee in the Player Category.
The BPA section of the Hall of Fame began in 2011. For a complete list of honored inductees and their profiles, please visit our website at and click on the Hall of Fame link under the Info tab.

The Baseball Players Association was organized for the strict benefit of the baseball teams. The BPA seeks the advice of the directors, managers, players and the umpires, who are directly involved in and play the game of baseball. They then try to structure their programs upon those recommendations.