The Arizona Interscholastic Association is teaching a harsh lesson to a high school basketball player in Tempe.
The AIA refused to grant Marcos de Niza's request to reinstate basketball player Kal Bay after he was suspended from the team for going into the stands at Avondale Westview to confront fans who apparently were verbally abusive to his mother and girlfriend.
Bay was the first Arizona High School player suspended under a new AIA conduct rule that says players who go into the stands during a game will be suspended and their school put on probation.
Bay's coach, Dave Stark, was also reprimanded.
The AIA did reduce Marcos De Niza's punishment from probation to a warning, because school officials cooperated in the investigation of the incident.
It's understandable why the AIA instituted the new and tougher rule -- last season there were several fights involving athletes and fans.
But the suspension of a player for the entire season seems excessive.
And we wonder about the spectators who were throwing barbs at Bay's mother and girlfriend.
Has there been any punishment dealt them?
At Payson High School basketball games, athletic director Dave Bradley and fellow administrators keep a sharp eye out for problem fans.
Last year, Bradley was quick to intervene when a group of spectators were on the verge of clashing with Apache Junction junior varsity players.
The best punishment for those spectators who choose to be verbally abusive is obvious -- ban them from attending any more games.
Little League sign-up
Registration for play in 2006 Payson Little League will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium.
Other sign-ups will be held during the same hours on:
- January 28
- February 4
- February 11
The fee is $60 for the first child in a family and $55 for each additional sibling. Parents will also be asked to volunteer in some form during the 2006 season.
Tryouts will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 25 on the Rumsey south multipurpose field. They are mandatory for players nine-years-of-age and older hoping to play in the majors division.
Call Linda Schreur at (928) 472-9331 for more information.
P&R to host 10K
The Payson Parks and Recreation Department's list of athletic opportunities now features the 10K Resolution Run. It will also include a two-mile fun run.
The event begins at 9 a.m. Jan. 28 in Green Valley Park.
Registration is now being accepted at the P&R offices located at GVP. The entry fee is $15 for those who register before the day of the race. On race day, the fee increases to $20.
Call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.
Rendezvous at Tackle Box
The Second Annual Outdoor Rendezvous, to be held Feb. 4 at The Tackle Box near Punkin Center, features some of the finest outdoorsmen in Arizona.
- Mark Kile -- a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and Classic Rookie of the Year will present "Bass Fishing."
- Preston Mercer -- a licensed hunting guide who works as a forest service helitack firefighter. Mercer will present "Preseason High Tech Scouting."
- Pat Haynes -- Seasoned and skilled trout fisherman who has caught and released more than 50 five-plus-pound fish. Haynes will present "Big Rainbows, Big German Browns."
- Brian Daniels and Gary Senft -- 2005 AllStar Bass team tournament champions, who will present "Team Fishing."
- Art Chamberlain -- Crappie fishing expert, licensed fishing guide and longtime Roosevelt angler will present "Crappie Fishing."
- Dean Pederson -- Highly successful veteran hunter who will present "Hunting Mule Deer."
- Jim Young -- Trained and versed hunter will present "Calling Wild Turkey."
- Dennis Pirch -- Former National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year and physical education teacher will present "Getting Fit After Drawing A Big Game Tag."
- Steve Smith -- Highly successful southern Gila County rancher will present "Mountain Lion Hunting."
- Tige Godac -- Licensed hunting guide will present "Archery Hunting."
- Ty Goodman -- Licensed hunting guide, former Payson High School all-star athlete will present "Hunting Whitetail Deer."
The seminars will begin at 8 a.m. at The Tackle Box, one-mile south of Punkin Center on the east side of Highway 188. The order of presentation will be announced next week.
The presentations will be part of the second Outdoor Rendezvous Pirch calls "an outdoor enthusiast's sidewalk sale." All events are free to anyone interested in hunting, fishing, hiking, archery or simply spending time in the backwoods of Arizona.
"Outdoorsmen and women who have used fishing, hunting and camping equipment they want to sell or trade with others are welcome to attend," Pirch said. "They can bring their used outdoor equipment and set it up in the parking lot on tables or their truck tailgates."
A display of new and used bass boats and all-terrain vehicles from Tempe Marine also will be on hand.
The Outdoor Rendezvous will feature a chili cook-off. Amateur chefs may showcase their hot stuff free of charge. All types of chili are eligible.
Prizes for first, second and third places will be awarded.
The festivities are being held partly because last year's inaugural rendezvous was such an overwhelming success, drawing close to 1,000 participants.
"We think it will grow into something everyone looks forward to each year," Pirch said.