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Roswell hosts world’s largest annual flag football tournament

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More than 500 teams (4,000-plus players) of all ages and experience from across the United States will take to the fields Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26, for Roswell’s annual “Hike It & Spike It” 4-on-4 Charity Flag Football Tournament this Memorial Day weekend, benefiting the United Way of Chaves County.

Not only is this the world’s largest annual flag football tournament and a treat for the participants who battle it out on 41 fields at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area; it is a hoot for the more than 32,000 spectators planning to descend on this Southeast New Mexico city. Male, female — 7 players per team — co-ed teams; over-30, and over-40 teams — 8 players per team — from 4 to 66 compete for five sets of awards in every division. (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Down and Out Bowl and Character Counts!/Sportsmanship).

“The ‘Hike It & Spike It’ tournament is an excellent example of the good things that can happen when public-private partnerships are formed to impact a community in a positive way,” said John Mulcahy, president of the Roswell Chaves County Economic Development Corporation. “This event has grown and grown over the years to where it now directly impacts the Roswell economy by more than $3 million each year, while benefiting a very worthy cause. The folks in Roswell are to be commended for coming together to create such a unique and memorable experience.”

Hosted by Character Counts! in Chaves County and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln counties, the presenting sponsors for this year’s tournament are Desert Sun Auto Group, Bank of the Southwest, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, Xcel Energy and Hot 97. Westlake ACE Hardware, Albertson’s Market and Taylor Orthodontics are this year’s sponsors for the “Show Me the Money” division, with a payout of $6,000, including $3,000 to the winning team. The very best flag football teams from across the land will vie for the opportunity to return home with cash in their pockets.

Player registration begins at 1 p.m. Friday, May 24. Saturday’s opening ceremonies get underway at 8 a.m., followed by games on all fields beginning at 8:30 a.m. and continuing nonstop throughout the day. The finals in all divisions, including “Show Me the Money” are on Sunday.

For more information, visit roswellgridiron.com.