Women's And Men's Teams Register For Softball Play

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For the upcoming town-sponsored adult softball league, 10 men's teams have registered.

Next up, pool play will be held to determine which teams advance to the competitive division and which will be aligned in the recreation division.

The top four teams after the two weeks of pool play will go to the competitive division.

In that division, rules that allow stealing once the pitched ball reaches home plate and no limits placed on number of home runs will be in use.

The women's league will feature four teams in both the competitive and recreation division. Games begin June 22. Men's games will be played at Rumsey II and women's games at Rumsey 1.

D-backs coming

Since the Arizona Diamond-back Training Center's first appearance in the Rim Country, in 1999, the baseball camps have returned each year with a new set of coaches and instructors. Now, the camps have expanded to include softball and are no longer held on the Payson High School field, as they were in the early years, but rather at Rumsey Park.

The next Payson-hosted Diamondback Training Center will be held July 7 to 11 again at Rumsey.

Shannon Godfrey, Diamond-backs assistant for Baseball Outreach and Development, said both baseball and softball would again be offered.

However, in the past, a softball camp had to be canceled when not enough participants signed up.

The baseball camps usually fill to capacity.

About the only setback the camps have suffered in past years is that they are held about the same time as Little League postseason area, district and state tournaments.

Which means, some of Payson's finest baseball players -- usually the Little League all-star selections -- cannot participate.

Diamondback Training Center coaches sent to Payson in the past say they are aware of the problem but because the camps are offered in about 40 towns and cities around Arizona in a short three-month period, the conflict would be tough to resolve.

The camps, which are held through the week from 8 to 11 a.m., feature instruction in all aspects of baseball and fast pitch softball, including hitting, fielding, base running, pitching, strategy and sportsmanship.

Coaches usually throw in spirit contests and games to keep the camp sessions fun and interesting.

Godfrey said the purpose of training centers are to instill an enhanced self-image, increased skills, improved knowledge of the game and greater community pride in the participants.

Godfrey estimates that since the inception of the program, "over 17,000 kids have ‘learned to play the D-backs' way.'"

The training centers are open to all players 6 to 18 years of age.

The fee of $150 includes 15 hours of instruction, a Diamond-backs cap and T-shirt, instructional DVD and the opportunity to attend select Diamondback home games.

All profits benefit Diamond-backs Youth Charities.

"We are excited for camp and we will be in Payson," Godfrey said.

For more information, call 1-800-821-7152 or go to: dbacks.com/

camp.

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