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Home : News : News
NEWS | June 17, 2014

Intramural softball season opens at JBSA-Randolph

By Robert Goetz Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

A game between the 359th Medical Group and the 561st Flying Training Squadron June 3 marked the opening of the 2014 intramural softball season, a summertime staple at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

The 359th MDG won the contest 17-12; other winners in games played June 3 and 5, during the first week of action, were the 902nd Communications Squadron, the Air Force Audit Agency, the 902nd Security Forces Squadron, Air Force Personnel Center and Air Education and Training Command, last year's JBSA-Randolph champion.

Rikk Prado, Rambler Fitness Center sports manager, said all of JBSA-Randolph's intramural sports are popular, but softball holds a special appeal.

"It's a summertime sport that's played outdoors, so families come out to watch," he said. "There's plenty of room for the kids, and people bring their own food."

Ron Sandoval, a retired Navy captain who serves as the AETC team player-coach, said another benefit of playing softball at JBSA-Randolph is that it's free.

"Softball is probably the most popular intramural sport on Randolph, and we need to ensure that we keep it affordable for all the players," he said.

Open to Department of Defense ID card holders at least 18 years old, the league features a mix of active-duty members and civilians. Women also compete in the league and this year's league comprises 12 teams with nearly 150 players.

Most of the players represent the organizations they work for, Prado said, although retirees and family members can also be found on team rosters.

Games are played every Tuesday and Thursday through July 31 at the field across from the fitness center. Teams with the six best records advance to a double-elimination tournament at the conclusion of the regular season, and the champion and runner-up qualify for the single-elimination JBSA tournament that also features the top two teams from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Lackland.

Games are played for seven innings or 50 minutes, whichever comes first, Prado said.

One of the league's rules is that batters start with a one ball-one strike count.

"It speeds up the game and allows more participation," Prado said.

The courtesy runner rule allows a team to insert a pinch runner for a player who makes it safely to first base; the pinch runner must be the last player who made an out.

"Teams are allowed to do it once an inning, but most teams only use it once a game," he said.

AETC will try to repeat as JBSA-Randolph champion after winning the title last year.

Sandoval, who also works at AETC as a civilian employee, joined the team in 2005 and has served as player-coach since then. In addition to winning last year's title, AETC was JBSA-Randolph champion in 2009.