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Extra' games big in softball

By By Will Bardwell/staff writer
August 24, 2003
Ryan Miller described softball events like the Meridian Slow-Pitch Festival "like playing two weeks of the regular season in one day.
Round-robin tournaments, classics and other events like the Meridian Slow-Pitch Festival are popping up more and more often on high school softball schedules. D'Aunn Odom, head coach of the Quitman Panthers, said the early-season tournaments allow players to develop experience in a short amount of time.
Over the course of a season, teams are allowed to play a maximum of 28 games on no more than 20 total dates, according to Mississippi High School Activities Association rules. There is no limit to the number of games a team can play in one day, but only three tournaments are allowed per team.
Playing in round-robin tournaments allows a coach to firmly plan their team's schedule, according to Meridian head coach Susan Frazier.
Each team is also allowed two preseason, or classic, games at the beginning of the season that may be counted toward the team's win-loss record but not against its total games or dates.
The only disadvantage to playing so many games in one day, according to some coaches, is the temperature.
Teams anticipate the hot weather months in advance and do their best to prepare.
Still, the coaches agree that the advantages of tournament play far outweigh the disadvantages.