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Maury County Offers Sports of All Sorts

A wide variety of sporting activities in Maury County lets residents cheer and stay active.

By Kevin Litwin on May 19, 2023

Soccer is a popular sporting activity in Maury County.

The University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team traveled to Columbia, TN in March 2023 to play an NCAA softball game versus Austin Peay State University. The game took place at Ridley Sports Complex in front of a capacity crowd of more than 3,000 fans.

That game is one of many high-profile sporting events occurring in Columbia these days, and a big reason why Ridley Sports Complex features 10 softball fields, 10 soccer fields and two multipurpose rectangular fields for staging football, rugby, lacrosse and ultimate frisbee games.

“In 2022, Ridley hosted 82 sporting events that generated more than $23 million in tourism dollars,” says Mack Reagan, director of Columbia Parks & Recreation. “That $23 million is impressive for a parks and rec department whose budget is about $3 million a year.”

Softball in Maury County
Nathan Lambrecht

For 2023, Reagan says the complex has booked five national tournaments for Premier Girls Fastpitch softball, which alone will provide an economic impact of about $13 million.

The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department even garnered a prestigious 2022 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism award for hosting a Premier Girls Fastpitch Super Select Championship that took place in 2022 at Ridley. The award was presented by Alabama-based Sports Destination Management, which recognized Columbia for staging that tournament for 12 days and drawing 20,000 individuals from all over the country.

“Our goal for all events at Ridley in 2023 is to break the $25 million mark for economic impact,” Reagan says. “We don’t have to advertise for tournaments anymore. We could probably fill our various tournament schedules four times over with people who want to come and compete at Ridley.”

Did You Know?

Almost all participating Premier softball teams are travel teams coming to Columbia from outside of Tennessee.

Disc Golf and Pickleball

Maury County has other sites that are ideal for sports participation. Also in Columbia is Woodland Park, which has disc golf facilities and often hosts tournaments that can attract up to 200 people on weekends. The local Muletown Disc Golf club plays at Woodland Park and is always looking for new members.

In addition, Columbia is home to Macedonia Recreation Center, where the growing sport of pickleball can be played. Macedonia features an indoor gymnasium with pickleball courts available to the public throughout the week, and visitors can also enjoy basketball and volleyball courts.

Beach Volleyball

In Spring Hill, a relatively new sports venue is Hyden Beach, an outdoor beach volleyball facility with six sand courts. Hyden Beach is located at Joe Peay Road and Lewisburg Pike (U.S. Highway 431), adjacent to the Hustle Factory Sports Complex.

The founder/owner of Hyden Beach is John Hyden, a former professional volleyball player who was in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of the USA Indoor Volleyball team.

“Beach volleyball is a fast-growing NCAA sport, and girls don’t need to be tall to play beach volleyball,” Hyden says. “Girls can be 5-foot-4 or 5-foot-5 and be really good players.”

Hyden Beach hosts many leagues, including two- person adult leagues that run in the spring and summer. Several companies also rent the courts for team-building opportunities.

“We also run a rookie program for beginner kids ages 8 to 12, and our juniors program is for kids who have played a bit but still have things to learn,” Hyden says. “We also feature a junior elite program for high schoolers who want to play volleyball in college. Speaking of college, a lot of area girls from Maury and Williamson counties come to train at Hyden Beach on summer break from college.”

Hyden Beach also runs five or six junior tournaments each year along with occasional Friday Under the Lights tournaments for adults.

“We offer a professional and fun environment for anyone wanting to play this exploding sport,” Hyden says. “Anyone who comes here will become a better beach volleyball player.”

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Array ( )
Array ( [0] => 148745 [1] => 151567 [2] => 151517 [3] => 151487 [4] => 151188 [5] => 150280 [6] => 150265 [7] => 146472 [8] => 122911 [9] => 122894 [10] => 122881 [11] => 119747 [12] => 19561 )

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