Four Army teams and four from the Air Force will square off at the Benjamin Franklin Village Sports Arena this Friday through Sunday to settle two Final Four crowns.
USAREUR’s men’s champ Mannheim and runner-up Kaiserslautern will take on USAFE men’s champion Lakenheath and runner-up Mildenhall. In the women’s field, Army champ Mannheim and runner-up Heidelberg will take on the women from Ramstein and Spangdahlem.
Under the structure normally used for the Final Four, the Army women would be pitted against the USAFE champion and runner-up. But according to USAFE sports director Tom Burkett, Air Force champ Aviano and runner-up Incirlik were unable to attend because of travel problems and military obligations.
USAREUR sports officials said Sunday that this edition of the Final Four will be the last for the foreseeable future. Instead, the Army and Air Force will sponsor an all-comers season-ending tournament, with the winners emerging as U.S. Forces Europe champions. There will be no individual Army and Air Force championships in 2010, they said.
Friday’s first game tips off at 11 a.m., with the Mannheim women taking on Ramstein. Games are to follow every 75 minutes thereafter on Friday and conclude with four games Saturday morning.
The teams begin a single-elimination event, seeded on the basis of pool-play records, on Saturday afternoon. Title games are scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday for the women and 5 p.m. for the men.