Marine Forces Pacific Regional tournaments in softball and basketball will go on as originally scheduled next month, Marine Corps Community Services officials said Tuesday.
Becasue of budget concerns and the number of personnel deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Marine Corps put its competitive sports program on hold in early April.
The budget issues have since been worked out, according to MCCS deputy sports director Jim Medley, and he’s been assured enough Marines will return to their regular units by July 1 to allow the tournaments to go on as scheduled.
The Air Force, which had also halted its varsity sports program, said that suspension was lifted last Friday.
“We are back on,” said Steve Brown, sports director for the Air Force Services Agency at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
The Marine softball regional is scheduled for July 7-11 at Camp Foster and basketball is scheduled for July 14-18 at Camp Kinser, Rowland said Tuesday by telephone from his Foster office.
However, the Marine regional volleyball tournament program has been scratched due to lack of participation, said Steve Rowland, director of MCCS Semper Fit programs on Okinawa.
The softball and basketball regionals crown a Pacific Marine champion team, and six players are selected to represent the region at All-Marine tryout camps.
The softball camp is scheduled for July 28-Aug. 17 at Cherry Point Air Station, N.C.; the basketball camp is July 27-Aug. 15 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Regarding volleyball, Rowland received a statement Wednesday from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., that said the entire Marine regional program had been canceled indefinitely and would restart only if there is a “drastic increase in participation.”
An All-Marine tryout camp is still scheduled for Aug. 3-24 at Twentynine Palms, Calif., with entrants to be selected by résumé. The moratorium on Air Force sports, which took effect April 7, was supposed to last 90 days. The Air Force sports program resumes with tryout camps for softball at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The men’s camp is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 17; The women’s audition is Aug. 18-Sept. 5.