Hundreds of competitors from across the state will descend on Payson this weekend for what over the past 20 years has grown to be an action-packed annual opportunity for both players and fans to enjoy softball tournament action in the cool pines of the Rim country.
Town of Payson Recreational Coordinator Teddy Pettet says that about 20 teams in men's, women's and coed divisions will compete in the double elimination, guaranteed three-game tournament.
The action starts Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on both the Rumsey Park 1 and 2 ballfields, as well as the high school baseball field.
With many games to be played, the teams will go head-to-head until 7 p.m. on the Rumsey #2 field and till 9 p.m. on Rumsey #1 and the high school field. Pettet says the same schedule will be used Sunday, with any possible remaining games to be played on Labor Day.
The competition will include teams from Prescott, Holbrook, Phoenix and one team in each division from Payson. Aside from knowing they came out on top, winners will receive T-shirts, with runners-up enjoying a host of other prizes including ice chests, water coolers and more.
Proceeds from the tournament will be used to assist with equipment needs of the Payson High School baseball team. Pettet says their needs are significant.
"There's a new rule this year concerning the bats we use," he said, "and what it means is we have to buy more and they cost about $200 each."
Pettet says the players aren't the only ones who love this tournament.
"This event always attracts lots of spectators who enjoy watching the action and cheering on their favorite local teams," he said.
For more information about the tournament, contact the Payson Parks and Recreation Department at 474-5242, ext. 7.