By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY The 30th anniversary season of Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley is set to begin tonight with the 2011 Early Bird Tournament.
A total of 12 teams are entered in the Legal Modified tournament. Under those rules, pitchers are not allowed to lift their arm higher than their shoulder, must keep the softball 6 inches from their hip and keep their wrist inside the elbow.
In addition, there is no bunting or stealing allowed.
With rain showers in the weather forecast for tomorrow and in an effort to keep the games on schedule as much as possible, the mercy-run rule will be 12 runs after three innings and eight runs after five innings.
Game time is forfeit time and teams must be ready to play 30 minutes prior to their scheduled game time.
The tourney begins at 7 p.m. tonight with Ratner of Liberty playing Fat Boyz Deli of Monticello. At 8:30 p.m., Switch Inn of Middletown, which was formerly known as Hollywood Towing, will meet Homers of Port Jervis.
Tomorrow’s slate of games starts at 7:30 a.m. with North Branch playing Darder’s Stone Works. At 9 a.m., Fort Apache from the Bronx will meet Zubi’s Lawn Care of Matamoras, Pa.
At 10:30 a.m., the winner of tonight’s Ratner vs. Fat Boyz game will play Black Indians, a team from New York City. Then at noon, the winner of tonight’s Switch Inn vs. Homers game will play Neversink.
At 1:30 p.m. Fitness Factory of Monticello will square off against the winner of the North Branch vs. Darder’s game. Then at 3 p.m. the Memphis Red Sox, a team from New York City, will play the winner of the Fort Apache vs. Zubi’s game.
“We had to turn two teams away,” Tournament Director Dennis Dietrich said yesterday. “We were happy the tournament filled up so quickly.”
The championship game is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, with the “if” game slated for 9 p.m.
The Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department, which owns and operates Collins Park, will be running two concession stands during the tournament.