Sports

New era, new events for all-peninsula senior games

Fifth year, lots of firsts.

That's the theme for this year's Olympic Peninsula Senior Games, formerly the Port Angeles Senior Games.

From Olympic Games-like events basketball, handball and track & field to nontraditional events like pinochle, indoor rowing and bridge, the games open 17 sports to men and women of ages 50 years or older by Dec. 31.

Part of the goal of this year's games was to let potential participants know they don't have to be from Port Angeles, said events organizer D Bellemente, Port Angeles Senior Center director.

"We want to spread the word from Forks to Port Townsend," she said. "We want to keep it exciting."

Part of that is adding new events to the schedule, including senior slowpitch softball, pinochle, a pair of basketball challenges (free throws and hot spot) and an indoor rowing event that was a demonstration sport last year.

Gone are three sports from last year's catalogue: swimming, table tennis and billiards. With the latter two dropped because of low participation rates, Bellemente said swimming was dropped this year with the financial uncertainty of Port Angeles' pool and Sequim's pool closure dates.

The games used to be scheduled in mid-September, but, as Bellemente said, it's a year of firsts for these games.

All of the 2009 senior games events are open to family and supporters.

Registration for the games, and a $20 participation fee, is required. Find registration forms online at olympic

peninsulaseniorgames.com or call the Port Angeles Senior Center, the games' headquarters, at 457-7004.

Individual events also require additional fees, most of them $5.

Below are Port Angeles Senior Games events and further details, by alphabetical order:



Basketball

__Fee: $5 per event

Held at the Clallam County YMCA, 302 Francis St., the basketball event features a free throw and "hot shot" challenges. In the free throw challenge, each player shoots 25 free throws. In the Hot Shot challenge, each contestant is allowed two one-minute rounds to make as many baskets from any of five designated spots, each varying in point value.



Bowling

_ Fee: $8 (per event, includes shoe rental)

Even if it's not an Olympic Games sport, bowling remains popular locally and nationwide. At the Port Angeles Senior Games, there are three ways to win in bowling: singles, doubles and mixed doubles. The competition, at P.A.'s Laurel Lanes, 108 W. Eighth St., guarantees bowlers at least three games in each event. The tournament is conducted in accordance with United States Bowling Congress rules. This event also features an optional practice on Friday (Aug. 28) from 1-6 p.m.; cost is $1.75 for shoe rental.



Bridge

_ Fee: $8

Saturday's bridge tournament at the Port Angeles Senior Center (328 E. Seventh St.) is contract bridge; players may sign up with a partner or request a partner when registering. Rules include: six hands of play, move five times and partners stay together. High scores move while low scores stay at table. Overall gold and silver medals are awarded.



Cribbage

_ Fee: $8

The games' cribbage tourney is hosted from 8:30 a.m.-

4 p.m. Saturday at the Naval Elks Lodge, 131 E. First St. Participants are asked to bring a board. Qualifying rounds are eight games while the final round is six games. Scoring is based upon half of the player pool. T-shirts for this event are available for $10.



Cycling

_ Fee: $5

This 20-mile time trial begins at 10 a.m. with a venue check-in time set at 9 a.m. Riders meet in the parking lot of Olympic Christian School at the intersection of O'Brien Road and U.S. Highway 101. The event features individual starts, generally at one-

minute intervals; men and women are scored separately. Medals awarded by age group and gender, and to the three shortest overall times. The course is along smooth paved roads with very light auto traffic, heading south toward the peaks of the Olympic Range along O'Brien Road. Water and snacks at the start/finish station. An aid vehicle with cell phone patrols the course during the race. All riders must wear approved helmets.



Golf

_ Fee: $5 for event plus $32 in greens fees (payable day of tourney)

Friday's golf tournament at Peninsula Golf Course, 824 Lindberg Road in Port Angeles, is an 18-hole tourney with groups of four, although players can sign up as individuals. Play is by Calloway rules. Rounds take about four hours, with awards ceremony following the event.



Handball

_ Fee: $5

This event, formerly men's singles format, is men's doubles only. Play is at the Clallam County YMCA building at 302 S. Francis St. in Port Angeles. Lensed eyewear for play is mandatory; balls will be provided. This single-elimination tournament features matches in a best-of-three format, games to 15 points. Tiebreakers go to 11 points. With fewer than five players in an age group, play goes to round robin brackets. Sole competitors in an age group will play in exhibition matches with the nearest age group.



Kayaking

_ Fee: $5

Staring and ending at Hollywood Beach in downtown P.A., this event features a 3.6-nautical-mile course with an on-water start, for experienced kayakers only. Personal flotation devices are mandatory; wetsuits or drysuits are recommended. Boats 18 feet and longer are placed into a separate category.



Pickleball

_ Fee: $5 per event

This event features three divisions (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) and is hosted at the Port Angeles High School gymnasium, 304 E. Park Ave. On Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8:30 a.m., doubles play starts while singles play starts at noon. Mixed doubles starts at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. Tourney format is double elimination. Rules follow USA Pickleball Association standards.



Pinochle

• Fee: $8 for all three days

This event spans all three days with preliminary games on Friday, playoffs on Saturday and championship games on Sunday, all at the Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 E.

Seventh St. Play format is double pinochle with four hands of play, moving six times. Rules follow Hoyle format.



Racquetball

_ Fee: $5 per event

The only event hosted east of Port Angeles, the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center, 610 N. Fifth Ave., hosts racquetball from 10:30 a.m.-

2 p.m. Saturday. Divisions include singles and doubles. Lensed eyewear is required; participants must bring their own racquets. The tourney is single elimination. Matches are best-of-three games to 15 points; tiebreakers go to 11 points. All matches follow United States Racquetball Association rules.



Rowing (indoor)

_ $5 per event

This event has both men's and women's divisions for 500- and 1,000-meter races. Races are at the Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 E. Seventh St.



Run (5k or 10k)

_ Fee: $5

This run along the waterfront trail near Port Angeles' Harbor requires that participants have their race numbers worn on the front and be visible at all times. This starts Saturday at 10 a.m.



Softball

_ Fee: $200 for team plus $5 per player fee

Softball teams vie for gold at Shane Park, 613 G St.between Seventh and Eighth streets, Port Angeles. Event includes a five-game guarantee.

Divisions are: 50+ coed with minimum of three women per team; 60-64 men's; and 65-plus men's. First-place teams in each division get a trophy while winning team members also receive champion T-shirts. Call event commissioner Bill Whitten for team availability.



Tennis

_ Fee: $5 per event

Players may enter a maximum of two events in the games' five tennis divisions - men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles. Play is at Erickson Park tennis courts at the corner of Fourth and Race streets, Port Angeles. A 10-minute warm-up period precedes match play.

Tournament format is single elimination with a consolation bracket for the first-round losers. Matches consist of two sets using regular scoring; ties are broken with a 10-point match tiebreaker.



Track & Field

_ Fee: $5 per event

With the Port Angeles High track refurbished, all events are at the track located on Viewcrest Avenue, between South Laurel and South Peabody streets one block south of Port Angeles High School. Track events include: 50-, 100-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1500-meter runs.

Field events include: discus, high jump, javelin, long jump, standing long jump, pole vault, shot put and softball throw.

Participants may enter a maximum of six events and check in a minimum of 15 minutes prior to that event (see portangeles

seniorgames.com for a full schedule.)



Weightlifting

_ Fee: $5

This event, held at Fast Stop Fitness, 902 E. First St., suite C., begins with a venue check-in at noon, with the first lift set for 1 p.m. Saturday.

Men and women are scored on a total of three lifts - dead lift, squat and bench press - with medals awarded by age group and gender, and medals for best individual lift for age and gender. For complete rules, see www.faststopfitness.com. Competitors are asked to wear athletic shoes and loose-fitting clothing.



Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@

sequimgazette.com.

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