Wherever in the Pacific Rim one might happen to be Labor Day weekend, chances are an interservice softball tournament is nearby.
Okinawa’s Torii Station hosts the granddaddy of them all, the 20th Typhoon Classic, the third leg of the Pacific interservice Grand Slam circuit on Friday and Saturday. The 2nd Kanto Kup for teams in Japan takes place Friday-Sunday at Yokota Air Base, while the POW-MIA memorial tournament is to be hosted Saturday-Monday at Osan Air Base for teams in South Korea.
All feature what has become standard for Pacificwide tournaments: a single round-robin format with all teams eligible for double-elimination playoffs.
All three tournaments also feature a common denominator. Since each will be played during the same time frame, the fields are limited: six men’s teams in the Kanto Kup, eight men’s and three women’s teams in the Typhoon and six men’s and three women’s teams in the POW-MIA.
That seemed to unsettle at least one tournament director.
“We expected a lot more teams,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Yates of Yokota’s 374th Services sports and fitness, who wants the Kanto Kup to grow into something along the lines of October’s Kadena Klassic, the Grand Slam’s final leg on Okinawa.
“That’s our goal, eventually,” he said, adding that he knows the proximity of Labor Day and Columbus Day weekends means some teams have to make choices about which tournament to attend. “That’s one of the things we have to look at. But that’s all right. We’ll have fun with our tournament.”
All Kanto Kup games will be played at Yokota’s Wilkins Park. A tournament-ending bash at the base NCO Club is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday.
Concerned with bad weather, which dogged the 2005 Typhoon Classic and forced a three-day delay in the men’s final, organizer Jim Perry plans to play around the clock starting Friday evening, concluding sometime Saturday evening.
“We’re trying to get it done before bad weather sets in,” Perry said, noting that Super Typhoon Ioke, though well to the east of Okinawa, might affect the event if it tracks west and heads toward the island by early next week.
Two things working in Perry’s favor are that all the entered teams are based on Okinawa and Sunday is available in case of inclement weather Friday or Saturday. “Finishing on Sunday isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the POW-MIA tournament moves from its longstanding home at camps Casey and Hovey in the northern 2nd Infantry Division area to Osan for the first time.
The six men’s teams in the POW-MIA tournament start play on Saturday at Osan’s two-diamond softball complex, while the three women’s teams start play on Sunday. Championship games are slated for 10:30 a.m. Monday, with second “if necessary” games to follow.
2nd Kanto Kup invitational
Proponent: 374th Services, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
Dates: Sept. 1-3.
Site: Wilkins Park, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
Participating team: Camp Fuji, Misawa Air Base Jets, Average Joes, Jeff’s Fitness Sumos, Yokota Air Base Warriors, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan.
Format: Single round-robin, six teams in one pool, first two days; all teams eligible for double-elimination playoff, third day.
Rules: Amateur Softball Association rules modified for local grounds, conditions.
Schedule: Round-robin games 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. Double-elimination playoffs 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. until championship at 4 p.m. Sunday with second “if necessary” game at 5:30 p.m.
20th Typhoon Classic
Proponent: 10th Area Support Group sports, Torii Station, Okinawa.
Dates: Sept. 1-2.
Site: Torii Field, Torii Station, and FourDiamondsCQ Complex, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.
Participating teams: Men’s Pool A, American Legion, Shoguns, Club Red, Community Bankers; Men’s Pool B, Kadena Air Base Falcons, Torii Station Knights, Fat Kids, Benchwarmers; Women’s Pool, Kadena Air Base Falcons, Typhoons, Yard Busters, Okinawa.
Format: Single round-robin, three women’s teams in one pool, eight men’s teams in two pools of four teams each, first night into second day; all teams qualify for double-elimination playoffs, second day.
Schedule; Round-robin games from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday for men at Torii, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. for women at Kadena; double-elimination playoffs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for men at Torii, 3 to 7 p.m. for women at Kadena.
Proponent: 51st Services, Osan Air Base, South Korea.
Dates: Sept. 2-4.
Site: Osan Softball Complex, Osan Air Base, South Korea.
Participating teams: Men, Osan Air Base Mustangs, Kunsan Air Base Wolf Pack, Los Guzzleros, AMMO, Ice Cold, Heat 3N2; women, Osan Air Base Mustangs, Kunsan Air Base Wolf Pack, Area III, South Korea.
Format: Single round-robin, six men’s and three women’s teams in one pool each, first day. All teams qualify for double-elimination playoffs, last two days.
Schedule: Round-robin games from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday for men, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday for women. Double-elimination playoffs, men from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to championship game at 10:30 a.m. Monday, with second “if necessary” game at 12:30 p.m.; women from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to championship game at 10:30 a.m. Monday, with second “if necessary” game at 12:30 p.m.