Custom Classic tournament will have field of 118 teams

CNJ staff

The 25th Plateau Wireless Custom Classic slow-pitch softball tournament begins a three-day run at Guy Leeder Complex tonight, with 118 teams scheduled to participate in five divisions.

Tournament co-ordinator Roger Jackson said that as the event has grown, it has not lacked for teams.

“Over the years, we’ve had as high as 130 (teams),” Jackson said. “About three years ago, we decided to cap it at about 115.”

Jackson said the reason for that was limited space. In addition to the games at the five diamonds at Guy Leeder Complex, a handful of losers bracket games will be played on Saturday at Spencer Field.

“We just didn’t have enough fields for (130 or more),” he said. “I think if we had two more full-time fields, we could gain another 20 teams easily.”

Fifteen teams are scheduled to participate in men’s Class C, with 38 in Class D and 35 in Class E. There are also eight team’s in the women’s competitive division and 22 in women’s recreation.

All brackets are double-elimination, with a 55-minute time limit. A 15-run rule goes into effect after three innings, and a 12-run rule will be used after five.

Games begin at 7 p.m. today in Class D and E and women’s recreation. After a short break following games set for 3:15 a.m. Saturday, the tournament will resume at 7 a.m. and continue through Sunday’s championship games, set for 2:30 p.m.

Any if-necessary games will follow immediately, creating a potential for 231 games.

Jackson said the tournament began in 1984 with a one-division men’s field of 13 teams.

“I don’t think we had two divisions for the first two or three years,” he said. “Then we started pursuing some nice awards, and that really kicked it into high gear.

“The Texas teams have really embraced it.”

He said women’s competition was introduced to the event around 1990.

Around 50 teams are from the immediate Clovis area, including 24 in men’s E.

“We seem to have more teams from Midland and Odessa this year,” Jackson said. “And we’re getting a lot from Amarillo.”