Youth, Adult B-Ball, Plus A Dodgeball

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An activities-filled Saturday awaits the Rim Country's weekend warriors.

Among the sports endeavors available are both a youth and adult basketball bonanza and the "Ruckus on the Rim" adult dodgeball tournament.

The Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department sponsors all the offerings.

The activities tip off at 10 a.m. with the annual youth hoop bonanza, which will be held in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium.

The event is open, free of charge, to both boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years. In the competition, boys and girls will participate in one of six age/sex divisions: 9-10 years; 11-12 years; and 13-14 years. During the local competition, players can compete in one or all three-basketball contests -- free throw, hot shot and three-point shootout.

Immediately following the youth event, at about 1 p.m., the adult bonanza begins also in RCMS gymnasium.

It will be conducted much the same as the youth event with three competitions -- Hot Shot, Free Throw and Three-Pointer- for the participants to enter.

Men's and women's 18-30-years and 30-plus years age/sex division will be offered. Prizes will be award to division champions.

Also set for tomorrow, but in the old Payson High School gymnasium, is the third annual adult dodgeball tournament.

The sport, as most remember, has its roots in gym classes and on elementary school playgrounds.

Although most adults have not played the game for years, they remember it as a team, or individual showdown, in which players try to avoid being hit by a ball that opponents throw at them.

Those who get hit are eliminated, and the team with the last man standing is declared the winner.

In 2004, the game enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when the movie, "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," hit the big screen.

The plot centered on a group of misfits who enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health-fitness chain.

In 2006 after a successful dodgeball tournament was held at Payson High School as part of Character Counts studies, then town recreation coordinator Mary McMullen decided to host an adult version of the sport.

The inaugural event was a success and the tournaments are now a part of the spring recreational scene.

Last year, the Ludtke Custom Builders team of Jim Ludtke, Clay Sopeland, Jake Sopeland, Matt Sopeland, Donovan Christian and Nick Brunson came out victorious in the men's division.

In the women's division, the Dodgers -- Jade Heglie, Ashlee Koch, Kelsey Palace, Tiffany Klemstine, Sharlie Hall, Tracy Fitzpatrick and Ashee Anesin -- emerged as tournament champs.

Basketball Bonanza rules

In the free-throw contest, each player attempts 10 consecutive free throws and the player making the most shots will be declared the division winner.

Those in the 9-to-10 age group have the option of shooting from two feet inside the free-throw line.

In the hot shot competition, players begin on a referee's whistle at the half-court line and must dribble into shooting range, where they must shoot from a minimum of three different locations out of seven pre-designated spots, during a one-minute period.

Each shot location will be assigned a point value, based on its difficulty.

Those who attempt shots from each of the seven locations will receive a five-point bonus.

The youngster scoring the most points in the time period will be deemed the division winner.

In the three-point shootout, a rack of five balls will be placed at five locations around the three-point line -- 19 feet, 9 inches --rom the baskets.

Each player will have one minute to shoot as many times as possible around the arc. Each successful shot with one of the first four balls on the rack is worth one point. The fifth ball, deemed the "money ball," is worth two points.

For more information on any of tomorrow's activities, call Town of Payson Athletic Coordinator Joe Harris at (928) 474-5242, ext. 359.

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