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Why not a baseball and softball tourney?Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 4:43 PM
If you can say anything for high school basketball, you can say they sure do have a lot of tournaments.
Thanks to the website maintained by John Harrell, I was able to find out there are 92 girls and 91 boys in-season tournaments involving Indiana high school teams. That's a total that includes eight out of state boys and nine out of state girls tournaments.
There are also five single-day shootouts for the boys.
All of those numbers include the Greene County and Wabash Valley Tournaments for the boys and the Toby Yoho, Vincennes Rivet and Red Hill (Ill.) tourney's for some of the girl's teams in the area.
You might wonder where all of this is leading, well let me tell you brothers and sisters, let me tell you.
Being the dyed in the wool, hardcore baseball and softball junkie that I am, I would certainly like to see a Greene County Softball and Greene County Baseball Championship Tournament conducted each year.
Before you wag your fingers in the air and dismiss my desire as nothing more than a whimsical desire by a sports writer with nothing better to do than ask silly questions, think about it.
Is baseball not the national sport of this country? Is softball not one of the most popular sports in this country when it comes to girls participating on a weekly basis?
Those two points alone merit at least some serious consideration.
Every week during the summer -- and in some metro areas where indoor facilities exist during the winter -- there is a softball tournament for travel teams.
Batting cages for both sports are open year-round in available facilities and there's always some form of tutoring in both sports.
Besides the aforementioned Greene County basketball tourney, there is also a Greene County cross country and track meet.
So why can't we give the baseball and softball teams of the county an opportunity to crown a champion.
In fairness, one criticism -- one pointed out by my fellow baseball junkie Eastern Greene baseball coach and athletic director Trevor McConnell -- coaches don't want to play anymore games than are on their schedules now.
In my opinion isn't the idea to play games?
Baseball teams are allowed to play 28 games each season before the sectional. Most don't get to play that many games whether because of scheduling or other reasons.
Trevor feels much the same as I do about the subject -- don't you have the sport to play the sport?
There could be other reasons why such a tournament doesn't exist and I know it's a big one -- money.
Even at the high school level money motivates programs. It keeps the equipment coming in on at least a semi-yearly basis and it keeps the sports programs going.
But have we become so focused on the money that we lose sight of the real objective of sports -- to give our student-athletes the opportunity to participate.
I don't know of any kid who plays a sport that doesn't want the opportunity to play, and I know even fewer who don't want the opportunity and challenge to become a champion.
Whether it be at the conference, county, state or other level, they all want to be a champion. And why should the baseball and softball players be denied the chance to be crowned county champion.
Another point that a lot of baseball coaches bring up the fact they don't want to play an opponent more times than necessary, i.e. play the same team three times in a season.
Here's my answer to that argument. At every level except for high school baseball and softball teams play on multiple occasions.
In college, both baseball and softball teams play a weekend series against other conference teams and at the Major League and Minor League levels they play multiple series against the same opponents.
Even in travel ball teams will likely end up meeting more than one or two times a year and in local league play they certainly play more than once.
So I believe you can throw that argument into the can and destroy it.
While right now I don't have a logistical plan ready to present as far as how many days it might take, I do believe there are few reasons why it shouldn't be done other than what I consider to be just short of lame.
The facilities are readily available in Greene County and I know that Eastern Greene's athletic director is more than willing to be a host for at least part of the scenario.
So now it is up to you the closet baseball and softball fans. Now is the time for you to tell your coaches and athletic directors that you would like to see a Greene County Tournament in both of those sports.
I've started it, now the rest is up to you.
Rick is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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