Recreation Leaders Puzzled By Player Apathy

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Weekend warriors should be breaking down the doors of the parks and recreation office wanting to participate in a trio of upcoming events.

The only trouble is, they aren't.

Registration for a 4-on-4 beach volleyball and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament Sept. 11 has been lagging. Sign-ups for a home run derby Sept. 12 also are not what the P&R department had hoped.

The lack of interest is especially puzzling because the tournaments will be played on the new basketball and volleyball courts at Rumsey Park. The facilities are among the best outdoor courts in the state.

The basketball court features a rubberized surface and the sand in the volleyball court is top quality.

Although neither Recreation Director Bill Schwind nor Specialist Charlene Hunt know the reasons for the apathy, both think some might simply be waiting until the last minute before registering. They would like participants to sign up as soon as possible so accommodations can be made and plans laid.

"There will be shirts and prizes and we need to know for how many (entrants)," Schwind said. "They are going to be fun tournaments."

Also if enough 3-on-3 teams register, plans will have to be made to use the basketball facilities on the Rumsey tennis courts as well as the new court just south of Taylor Pool.

Basketball

In the 3-on-3 tournament, half-court games will be played to 15 points or 15 minutes. In case of ties, there will be a two-minute overtime. Baskets inside the 3-point arc are counted as one point. Those made from outside the 3-point line will be 2-points.

About the only difference from the classic pickup games will be the use of officials. They will signal fouls rather than "call your own fouls," as is the custom in most half court games

Age divisions will include third to fifth grade, middle school, high school and open. Boys and girls divisions also will be played. Team rosters may have four players. The entry fee is $30 per team.

4-on-4 volleyball

Teams must have one female on the court at all times and may have five players on the roster. All players must be 16-years-or-older.

A match will consist of two games to 15 points with rally scoring. If a split in wins occurs, the third and deciding game will be to eight points also with rally scoring.

The entry fee is $40.

Both tournaments will be conducted in a double-elimination format with a three-game guarantee.

Casino sponsors Derby

The inaugural home run derby, sponsored by the Mazatzal Casino, could prove to be very profitable for local charities.

Upon registering, each three-person team must designate a nonprofit organization to be the recipient of their prize money.

The winning team's charity choice will receive $500. The runner-up's designation will earn $300 and the third place team's choice gets $100.

The derby will feature both men and women's division. For the men, the home run fence will be 235 feet from home plate. For women, it will be 200 feet. The women will hit an 11-inch softball commonly used in most recreation leagues. The men will hit a 12-inch softball.

Hitters will supply their own pitchers. Pitches must be underhand and with an arch of 6- to 12-feet above the ground.

The tournament will begin with an opening round in which entrants are given 20 pitches. In the second round, they receive 10 pitches.

After the home runs for each team are calculated, the top four teams from both rounds will advance to the finals.

In the final round, each team begins with a zero score and players receive 20 pitches each.

In case of a tie, a sudden-death, one-pitch tie breaker will be used.

All players on teams finishing first through third place will receive trophies. The top male and female home run hitters will also receive awards.

The entry fee is $25 for a team of three. Official rules and entry forms are available at the Payson Parks and Recreation office at 1000 W. Country Club Drive.

Call (928) 474-5242 ext. 7 for more information.

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