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26th Annual Bedford All-Nighter Kicks Off Tonight

Last updated on Friday, June 1, 2012

(BEDFORD) - The 26th annual Bedford All-Nighter at Murray Forest Park is this weekend.

From tonight through Sunday, players will participate in one of the states elite softball events in Indiana.

Gary Dorsett, Bedford Recreation Director, says the men's division will feature 40 teams. Play begins at 6 p.m. tonight.Meanwhile, on Field 3, the 19-team women's tourney commences tonight at 9 p.m.

Dorsett estimated the men's championship should be decided Sunday at about 5 p.m., with the women's division to conclude sometime near noon Sunday.

Seventeen local men's teams and six area women's teams are participating.

The Heat, a women's squad from St. Louis, already has registered, and the men's field features teams from Louisville, Indianapolis, and as far away as Monticello.

There is no admission fee for spectators. While bleachers are available, many fans bring lawn chairs.

The 2012 Bedford All-Nighter is part of the Worth Power Series, and the sporting goods giant is sending softball superstars Rusty Bumgardner and Bill Rhew to conduct a clinic and take a few swings during the Worth 454 Home Run Derby

Dorsett is encouraging local sluggers to flex their muscles in the derby. He hopes to sign up 50competitors at $10 per player. Each competitor will get a t-shirt and the champion wins a new Worth bat. The derby will be Saturday at 9 p.m.

This year, tourney officials opted to reconfigure the campground. In the past people were allowed to camp just about anywhere. But there were problems with damage to trees and picnic tables. This year the department has mapped out a site for camper.

This event is one of the biggest fund raisers for the parks department.

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