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Louisburg Tonics to compete in National Granny Basketball Tournament

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The Louisburg Tonics Granny Basketball team will soon contend for the national championship.

A record-setting field of women basketball players, age 50-87, will trek to Lawrence, KS – known as a legendary basketball town – to play in the 2019 National Granny Basketball Tournament.  The six-on-six competition, based on 1920s-style rules, will be held Saturday, July 20, at the Ambler Student Recreation Center on the campus of the University of Kansas.

“This is the largest event in the history of Granny Basketball, and we are proud to host it in Lawrence,” said Dee Bisel, local co-chair of the national tournament committee and player for the Lawrence based Grey Tornadoes.  “Sixteen teams and 200 players will compete on four courts at this beautiful facility.  We are excited for the players, family members and fans to be a part of this special experience.”

 “The Louisburg Tonics always have fun playing Granny Basketball and are looking forward to playing in the national tourney against teams from other states. We probably do more laughing than playing basketball though,” says Jean Carder, Tonics captain.

The team to watch is the three-peat champion of the national tournament, the Harpers Ferry Fireflies hailing from a small town in northeast Iowa. Players will travel to match their skills against other teams, including contenders from Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana and other states.

Granny Basketball is a fun-filled activity that encourages women age 50 and over to stay fit and active in a non-traditional, social environment. The league provides wholesome, nostalgic and sometimes humorous entertainment, as well as an outlet for charitable fundraising.

Players dress in 1920s-inspired uniforms – black bloomers, middy blouses and sailor-style collars displaying each player’s number.

The old-style, six-on-six rules call for the court to be divided into three sections, one each for forwards, centers and guards. Players can have up to two dribbles per possession. Running is not allowed, but “hurrying” is. With an emphasis on safety, players are not allowed to jump or have physical contact. Also, only three fouls are allowed. The modified league rules also award three points for underhanded “granny shots.”

The 16 teams will be organized into four pools, where each team will play three games starting at 8 am.  The final four teams, the top team from each pool, will advance to the semi-finals and championship games. The championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The public is invited. Proceeds from the suggested $5 donation at the door will benefit the local Visiting Nurses Association.

The Granny Basketball League is a non-profit Iowa-based organization founded in 2005.  Currently, 37 Granny Basketball teams are active in 9 states:  Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.  The league has grown by eight teams in 2019, predominantly in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  The national tournament will return to Lawrence in July 2020, then will travel to Prairie Du Chien, WI in 2021.

Members of the Tonics are: Becky Berg, Louisburg; Lisa Berg, Olathe
Jean Carder, Louisburg; Kathleen Caverty, Louisburg; Ruth Fladung, Louisburg; Wanda Harlow, Bucyrus; Helen McClain, Louisburg; Julie McKinley, Linn Valley; LaVonne Mize, Louisburg; Diana Moore, Louisburg; Ellen Morland, Louisburg; Janet York, Louisburg and Coach Kate Berg Camp, Gardner

For more information, visit www.grannybasketball.com and www.facebook.com/grannybasketball.

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