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Troy will host national tourney come September

Sports Editor

Pam Nix needs help.

Nix is the Troy Parks and Recreation Department’s Adult Sports Coordinator. And come Sept. 1 she will have her hands full in dealing with over 40 men’s softball teams from all across the nation who will be in Troy for the Class D National Regional.

"The actual Class D National is in Montgomery, " Nix said. "The teams who win here will advance to that tournament, which will start on Sep. 22."

At the same time, Troy will also be hosting the Men’s Major Church League Tournament.

Nix expects between six to 12 teams to be competing in that tournament.

"These are the top-of-the-line church league teams from around the country," she said. "The men’s majors tournament will be smaller then the national tournament, so I will be able to handle it on just one field."

But Nix said the Class D National tournament will be played on five fields, which will make everything a bit more complicated then she imagined.

"This is how you host a national tournament," Nix said, showing the impressive and thick binder that the Amateur Softball Association sent to her when Troy was designated as host for the tournament. "I don’t think I really understood how big this thing really was until I received the manual you have to use when running a national tournament. It’s huge."

Inside the manual, Nix said, is all types of guidelines that must be followed by the host-city.

"They really get in and break it down for you," she said. "The binder tells you how to arrange the brackets, how to work with the media, etc."

Although Nix said she is the one who will draw up the brackets, the match-ups will not be set until the teams arrive in Troy.

"I have to set up something called a ‘bracket breakfast,’" she said. "The coaches of all the teams will come in and eat breakfast and will then draw from four separate containers to see who they will play first."

Another thing that Nix has to do before the tournament begins is send off three of the softballs she will be using in the tournament to the ASA National Headquarters in Oklahoma City so they can be inspected.

"Once the balls have been approved by the National Headquarters, I can only use balls that come from that batch," Nix said.

The TPRD will also have to put together a packet of information about the city of Troy and send it to all the teams who will be coming in September.

"Many of the things I need I can get from the Chamber of Commerce," Nix said. "The council and the Mayor are just always so supportive of anything we do and are always willing to help. That’s why I want to bring as many people out to the tournament as possible so the visitors can see how special the city of Troy is and that we really know how to put on a tournament."

Nix said Troy received the Class D tournament when another city that was set to host bowed out.

"The normal procedure when you want to host one of these things is to go in front of a committee and sell your city," she said. "So the National President called me up because he knew how bad I wanted to host one and asked me if I wanted it. I just didn’t know how much was involved."

Nix said she really needs volunteers for the tournament and she would like to use as many people as possible.

"I want them to call me and my assistants," she said. "Then once I have spoke with them, I would like them to come in and meet with them. We want to get as many people involved in this tournament as possible, because this is a really big deal for the city of Troy."

Nix said the TPRD will need people to deal directly with all the teams, sell souvenirs and refreshments, work the gate,

provide powerade to the teams and make sure all of the umpires are taken care of.

"Anything anyone can do to help will be well appreciated," Nix said.

Nix also said she will have to put together a program for the tournament, which will feature a message and a picture of Governor Don Siegelman, and she will need help selling advertising for the program.

"We want to put as much publicity into this tournament as we can," she said.