Ex-rec director claims rules left to him were ones he used|[7/9/06]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 9, 2006

A former City of Vicksburg Parks and Recreation director said he never changed rules governing recreational sports in the city and lobbied several times unsuccessfully to allow out-of-county teams to participate in Vicksburg leagues.

Craig Upton, now in the insurance business in Metro Jackson, said he followed the rules left to him by former parks and rec director Sid Beauman and he never changed any part of them.

The softball rules were devised early in Beauman’s tenure as rec director. He served in that capacity from 1993-2001. The adult baseball league rules were devised by current parks and recreation director Joe Graves and modeled after the softball rules.

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The adult baseball league rules had a stipulation that no player from outside a 30-mile radius of Vicksburg could participate in the league. A Port Gibson team was denied participation this year after the ruling was changed to allow only Warren County teams to play.

The baseball rules, however, were never approved by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen, deeming them worthless. A new set of rules governing just baseball were approved by the board at a June 19 meeting.

&#8220I tried to get that rule kicked out of the set of (softball) rules I received,” Upton said. &#8220I tried to do it the first year I took over and (Beauman) said no. I didn’t agree with not letting players come in from other areas to play in these leagues.”

Upton said he tried to get some of the names of the leagues changed, but that was the extent of his involvement in changing rules.

The adult baseball league opened on Friday with two games. Games will be played Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Bazinsky Field.