Salvation Army tournament adds women's division
COAL TOWNSHIP - A new twist will mark the 10th annual Salvation Army Adult Benefit Basketball Tournament scheduled for April.
During a recent meeting of the Salvation Army Advisory Board held at the army headquarters, 1300 W. Spruce St., tournament officials announced this year's event will feature a women's division in addition to the men's bracket.
Chris Venna, Shamokin Area Middle-High School principal, and Brian Persing, Shamokin Area School Board member, both members of the advisory board and tournament co-chairmen, announced the new division will be open to women from high school varsity age and above. The separate division was first proposed by Ned Sodrick, also a member of the advisory board.
The co-chairmen said the tourney will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 19, 20 and 21, at Shamokin Area Middle-High School gymnasium.
Venna said the tournament will operate in the same manner as in recent years with a double-elimination format. Teams with one loss will still be able to make the finals. The top two teams from the previous year's tournament will automatically be placed on opposite sides of the bracket (seeded 1 and 2).
Entry fee per team is $125 and deadline to register is March 31. Interested teams are asked to contact Venna at 205-1144 for more information.
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) officials will work all games on a volunteer basis. PIAA rules will be followed unless specifically noted.
Games will consist of two 10-minute halves. The clock will run continuously except for the last two minutes of each half, or if the score differential is greater than 20 points.
All teams must have the same uniform tops with numbers.
Any player or spectator receiving an unsportsmanlike technical foul will be required to leave the premises and will not be able to return or play for the remainder of the tournament. Players must be high school varsity level or older to participate.
In order to participate on Sundays, the player must have participated in at least one game on the first or second day (Friday or Saturday) of the tournament.
Trophies will be awarded to the top teams immediately following the championship games.
Tourney officials, along with Salvation Army personnel, expressed their appreciation to Shamokin Area School Board and administration for use of the high school facilities. They also commended PIAA basketball officials for volunteering their services, making the tournament possible.
All proceeds benefit charitable activities of The Salvation Army, helping many people in surrounding communities. There will be a 50-50 drawing throughout the three-day event.
The Salvation Army helped many families and children with food items and toys over the Christmas holiday.
Persing said a concession stand will also be available for the weekend.
Major Tina Streck, commanding officer, and Judy Orner, social services director, reported the Salvation Army Thrift Store continues to be very successful as a result of its bargain days. Orner said assistance was offered to victims of the recent fires in the Shamokin-Mount Carmel area.
Attending the meeting, in addition to Streck, Orner, Venna, Persing and Sodrick, were Janice Kotwica, Ronald (Buddy) Knoebel, Violette Feudale, Paul Metrocavage, Henry Linton, board president, and Harry Deitz.