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Weekend Warriors

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Playing ball is not just child#s play. Softball has become an avid obsession for many grown-ups in the county. Nearly 9,000 adults in Gwinnett participate in adult softball leagues through Gwinnett Parks and Recreation # and that#s not including leagues formed in churches and private associations.

#A lot of people don#t realize how big it is and the number of people playing,# said Dee Miller, athletic programmer for Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation. #In adult softball, we#re probably one of the top two programs in the state, in terms of number of teams, in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association.#

Each year, more than 600 county teams, with approximately 12 to 15 players each, will convene at Pierce Park, Lucky Shoals Park and Bethesda Park for weekend (and weeknight) games. Adult softball is a year-round sport and has become somewhat of a passion for these weekend warriors. According to Miller, it#s not just about competing and getting physical exercise, socialization keeps people coming back year after year. #There#s a lot of friends coming together just to play softball,# he said.

But it#s not just about the fun. Players are serious about their ball, and Parks and Recreation ensures that everything runs smoothly. Leagues are organized by groups, ranging from an open men#s league to an industrial league for companies. Women have their own league, or can play on co-ed teams. A lottery system determines when teams will play, and a computerized schedule is distributed.

Each team will play ten games, but the fun isn#t over after that. The team that has the most wins in a season becomes the league champion, ensuring enough bragging rights until the games begin again. In the spring league, a qualifying tournament adds to the excitement.

Playing through Parks and Recreation will cost a team approximately $300-400. Often, teams will go all-out and find sponsors to offset the cost. Parks and Recreation provides the fields, umpires and scorekeepers. All you have to do is come play!

For more information on adult softball, contact Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation at

770-822-8840.