By Will Fairless
The Opelika Rotary Club will be holding the first annual Bobbie Harris Classic “Backyard Ball” (“Wiffle Ball” but without infringing on copyright) tournament at West Ridge Park in Opelika on March 21 and 22.
The proceeds from the tournament will benefit two organizations, the Exceptional Foundation of East Alabama and the Golden State Foods Foundation, the latter of which will provide concessions for the tournament. The Exceptional Foundation, according to its website, “is a nonprofit organization established to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provide opportunities for those participants to thrive and be engaged in social and recreational activities.”
The Golden State Foods Foundation’s mission is “to improve the quality of life of children and families in need in the areas where GSF associates live and work through personal involvement and contribution,” per the foundation’s website.
The tournament, which will be held rain or shine, will be split into three categories: all male, all female and co-ed. Players must be at least 14 years old unless accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. Each team, in addition to a guaranteed two games in the tournament, gets a spot for one of their players in the home run derby, which will be on March 20.
Shey Knight, the Rotary Club president, is hoping that the tournament could eventually be a biannual event.
“I would love to turn this into a multiple weekend event, but it’s gonna be lighthearted and fun and different,” Knight said. He added that although the event will be held in that laid-back spirit, there are prizes for the winners in each category.
Teams consist of 4 to 6 players and pay $150 to sign up. Spots are still available, and registration can be completed at opelikarotaryclub.com. The rules of the tournament and more information about the club and event can also be found on the website.