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Seniors invited to join local softball league

Members of the Tri-Cities Senior Softball League pose for a photo at the end of the 2015 season. (Contributed photo)
Members of the Tri-Cities Senior Softball League pose for a photo at the end of the 2015 season. (Contributed photo)

Senior citizens in Unicoi County have an opportunity to take in the brick dust and be part of the “Men of Summer.”

Senior men (60 years and older) are invited to joined a local senior pitch softball team. The Tri-Cities Senior Softball League is now accepting applications for the 2016 season.

According to information provided by Charlie Mattioli, the league gathers twice a week at Winged Deer Park in Johnson City for “fun, fitness and fellowship” as they practice and play games of senior softball. The Tri-Cities Senior Softball League is co-sponsored by CrestPoint Health and Johnson City Senior Services. The softball season begins in March and continues into November, weather permitting, according to Mattioli.

Any citizen in Unicoi County 60 years or older, or turning 60 before Dec. 31, are eligible to play.

“If you have ever played ball, or ever wanted to play ball, now is your chance,” the press release said. “We have players of every skill level, from beginners to ‘seasoned veterans’, but our mission is to enjoy the game and enjoy each other’s company. Everybody present always plays in every league game.”

The rules of slow-pitch senior softball have special features to minimize injury and allow unlimited substitution. Even players who have difficulty running can still bat and field. Intra-league games are organized to promote competition among the various players present at each session.

The league also provides the possibility of competitive games with other regional teams, based upon interest level and participation of our members. Teams for regional games are divided into age brackets: 60-64; 65-69; 70-74; and 75-plus. For competitive games, players can play in a lower age bracket, but are not allowed to play in a higher age bracket.

Teams practice and play two days per week at Winged Deer Park Field 5, located at 4137 Bristol Highway, Johnson City. Each session lasts approximately 1.5 hours. For this season, teams play on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings, with times to be determined.

The annual fee to be a member of the league is $40, which includes a league hat, T-shirt and two games a week of softball.

For more information, visit tricitiesseniorsoftball.com or contact the different league directors. Mattiolo can be reached at 543-1962. Other directors are Art Daniels (794-6240) and Rob Settle (538-9612). Registration forms are on the website, Johnson City Senior Center and the administration building at Winged Deer Park.