Typhoon Classic softball tourney is called off amid budget cuts
For the second time in four years, the Typhoon Classic, scheduled for this weekend at Torii Station, Okinawa, has been canceled, 10th Area Support Group sports officials said Thursday.
The 16-year-old tournament, the final leg of the Pacific interservice softball Grand Slam circuit, fell victim to budget cuts, Torii sports and fitness center director Michael Collins said.
Also Thursday, 18th Services sports officials at Kadena Air Base announced the Grand Slam’s third leg, the Kadena Klassic, would be moved to Columbus Day weekend in the future because of Labor Day weekend weather concerns.
Collins said funding was cut that would pay for, among other things, tournament officials and the labor force that maintains the field. He did not cite specific figures or say how much was trimmed, nor did he say how much would have been needed to run the tournament.
None of the other services on the island has yet stepped forward to pick up the tab. Mike Walker, Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit Athletics, said such alternate financial support couldn’t happen this year but “it’s possible” in future years.
Kadena sports officials said they would not take on an extra tournament this year but would move the Kadena Klassic away from Labor Day weekend, which has been plagued by foul weather three of the past four years.
“Labor Day weekend has been cursed,” said Dawn Pierce of Kadena’s Risner Sports and Fitness Center, in announcing the move to Columbus Day weekend.
The Kadena Klassic slogged to a wet finish in 2001, was moved to November in 2002 because of an approaching typhoon Labor Day weekend and was interrupted last month by Typhoon Songda, with play finishing on Sept. 12, 10 days after the tournament began.
The Typhoon Classic was called off in 2001 because of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The 2004 Grand Slam season ends with Yellow Box of Okinawa winning two of the three major tournaments that were played: the July 4th weekend Firecracker Shootout and Labor Day weekend Kadena Klassic.