By Harry Andrew
WHEN APRIL ARRIVES IN PHOENIX THIS YEAR so will a slew of softball players from around the U.S. and Canada, all here for the double dip of the Saguaro Cup Sports Festival and the NAGAAA (North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance) Cup Invitational Tournament being held April 17–19.
Phoenix is home to a number of first class softball com- plexes located throughout the metropolitan area, making it an ideal location to hold two such large tournaments. Teams this year will be playing at five of them—Desert West Sports Complex, Papago Softball Complex and Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix and Eldorado Sports Complex and Yavapai Sports Complex in Scottsdale. Host hotels for the tournaments are the Hilton Phoenix Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Midtown.
The Phoenix-based Cactus Cities Softball League (CCSL) is playing host to both tournaments this year. Fri- day the 17th marks the registration party and coaches meeting with Saturday as the day of play while Sunday is the closing party and awards ceremony. The NAGAAA Cup is an invitational tournament for A and B division teams from NAGAAA-affiliated cities. The Saguaro Cup is a CCSL event held annually in Phoenix. Begun in 1994 to foster local, regional, national and international sports competition predominately for the LGBT community, the Saguaro Cup is open to any- one who is dedicated to an amateur athletic experience for people of all skill levels and abilities regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, creed, religion or national origin.
Over the years the Saguaro Cup tournament has grown into the premier gay softball tournament in the southwest, a model of sports diversity for those who love the game. It consistently ranks as one of the country’s largest gay soft- ball tournaments and it’s sanctioned by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA).
Open to teams from cities both with and without NAGAAA-affiliation, the Saguaro Cup provides an opportunity for any softball player who wants to play to be part of the fun weekend in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun. All skill levels are welcome and if you’re a player without a team, you can use their contact form to get picked up by one of the teams. They ask that you include permission to have your contact information posted online for expedited connections to coaches looking for players.
Once Sunday afternoon rolls around, it’s time for everyone from both tournaments to party at Charlie’s Phoenix location. Food starts at 4:00 p.m., trophy presentations are at 7:00 p.m. with a drag show at 8:00 p.m. For additional or updated information on these events, go to: www.saguarocup.com
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