Little League Needs Umps

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Local Little League officials including president Ron Miller and vice president Don Engler have issued a plea for help. They are asking local residents to consider taking on part-time employment this spring and summer as Little League umpires and game officials.

Almost since the inception of Little League in Payson, the association has struggled to find enough umpires. It's a paid job, but often the positions go unfilled for a variety of reasons.

The baseball season is slated to begin in mid-April and continue until the end of June. Games are played weeknights from 4:45 p.m. until 7 p.m. If rainouts occur, games are rescheduled to Saturday evenings.

The youths involved in the program are nine to 15 years of age.

According to Engler, prospective umpires need not be certified as high school officials are, but should have a good working knowledge of baseball and enjoy the game.

The umpires will also be asked to pass a written test on the rules and mechanics of the game.

Their duties will include the usual calling of balls and strikes from behind the plate and making safe and out calls on the bases. Umpires also see that the games are played, under official Little League rules, in a timely fashion.

Anyone interested in umpiring should contact Miller (474-5093) or Engler (474-4609).

No tournament

The Payson Longhorn baseball team was set to use the Miami Invitational tournament as a tune-up for upcoming East regional clashes.

But the best laid plans of coach Teddy Pettet were sidelined by Mother Nature.

Due to the rain that drenched Arizona in mid-week, tournament games on Wednesday were canceled. At press time, Pettet said his team was prepared to travel to Miami Friday and Saturday to play in the tournament.

That, however, is dependent upon weather conditions. If fields in the area dry out, tournament games will be contested. If fields remain unplayable, more games will be canceled.

MSA tickets go on sale

The Mogollon Sporting Association will be hosting its 9th Annual Fund-raising Banquet May 12 at the Mazatzal Casino. A no-host cocktail hour at 5 p.m. will be followed by dinner and door prizes at 6 p.m. and an auction/raffle at 7 p.m. The meal consists of your choice of prime rib or stuffed chicken breast. Tickets are $60, and those who purchase their tickets by April 1 will be entered in an early bird drawing.

The proceeds from the banquet benefit local youth and wildlife enhancement programs. Call (520) 474-3768 for tickets or more information.

Coed Softball League

Registration will continue until March 16.

Recreation and competitive divisions will be offered as long as a minimum of four teams sign up for each division.

The fee is $200 per team, which includes a tournament. Awards will be given for the tournament only. Games begin in April.

For more information, contact the Payson Parks and Recreation Department at 474-5242, ext. 7.

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