Tournament History

We are celebrating our 30th year of hosting youth hockey tournaments in Maryland and Tennessee!

Here’s a little of our history as tournaments have been part of our family since 1972. The first tournament originated in Tonawanda, NY. In 1982 the tournaments moved to Niagara Falls, NY where the Shootout Classic and Winter Ice Experience are still held today. In the 1980s we also hosted the Playboy Miller High Life adult tournament and Top Gun youth tournament.

In 1990 my father, Gene Harrington took his youth team to Nashville to share his love for country music. This was such a wonderful experience that in 1991 he hosted the 1st Country & Western Showdown. Over the years, the Country & Western influenced hockey in the Nashville and many southern states. We are the original youth hockey tournament in Nashville, TN and happy to be celebrating its 33rd year!

In August 1993, my family and the hockey community experienced a great loss with the untimely death of my father. At that time, we received an outpouring of support from the hockey community to continue his legacy. In Sept 1993, my brother, wife, and I took the roles of tournament director and spent every spare moment organizing for the first tournament season.

From 1993-2000 we devoted hours of our lives to the tournaments. It was sheer emotion and love for our father that motivated us in the early years. In 2000, we hosted the 1st Crabtown Showdown Tournament and in 2010 the Capital Showdown in MD evolved.

Somewhere in the early 2000s we created the Showdown Olympic Skills Event to add a fun element to the Showdown Tournament experience. It’s a skills event like no other!

Now in, 2023 we look back on all the. years of hockey and hockey tournaments our family has embarked on and we bring the 30 plus years of youth hockey tournament experience to you.

Brian & Whitney Harrington
Showdown Tournament Directors