Recreation tournaments and activities for competitors and families will be underway soon

Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News

Just when you thought all of the sporting events have passed, the Gila River Indian Community will be hosting tournaments and family activities to keep the momentum going. The Gila River Wellness Center will host basketball and baseball tournaments in late July and August and the districts will provide activities throughout the summer. 


A “Duel in the Desert” Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held at the Boys & Girls Club in Sacaton, and a Baseball Little League Tournament for youth ages 9-12 years-old will take place at the District 7 ball fields on July 26-27. 


The basketball tournament will comprise of 12 teams squaring off for a chance at a first, second and third place trophy. The little league tournament will see six teams, who will also compete for hardware. 


“Since we have six teams, each of them will be put into a bracket, with double elimination,” said Kelly Whitman, Gila River Recreation Coordinator. 


Two Family Sports Night events will be held on Aug. 2 at the District 7 Multipurpose Building from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

At the event, a dodgeball and water volleyball activity will be held for the first six families who pre-register.  


A second family night will be held at the District 3 rodeo grounds on Aug. 10 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. A family mud volleyball and mud tug-of-war will be open to the first six teams that pre-register for each activity. 


“The family nights are about getting everyone together, and having Community members do something different from basketball and baseball,” said Whitman.


She said the on-field competition will continue into the month of August and September with a couple of events. Whitman said a women’s fast-pitch softball tournament will take place on August 16-17. Also, there is a men’s summer basketball league hosted in District 5, that started on July 10, that will host games every Wednesday night leading up to a tournament on August 24. 


Additionally, there will be a co-ed slow pitch softball league that will start July 23 and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at District 4 ball field. Eight teams will be competing each night leading up a tournament to be held in August. 


In September, Tribal Recreation will host a leadership chair volleyball tournament. The dates for the tournament have not been finalized, but it will include leaders from surrounding tribal communities competing against the Community Executive Office. Tribes that are expected to play are, Salt-River Pima-Maricopa Community, Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Tohono O’odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.