Coaches, KSHSAA give insight on recent vote to add more baseball and softball games

Rossville softball celebrates winning 2A State title
Rossville softball celebrates winning 2A State title(WIBW)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:54 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The high school baseball and softball seasons are finally expanding in Kansas. All it took to get the proposal approved after years of debate over baseball was the inclusion of softball.

”In Kansas they like to keep those two sports pretty tied together,” said KSHSAA Assistant Executive Director Jeremy Holaday.

This past April, the Sunflower League proposed a 26-game baseball season to the KSHSAA Board of Directors. It was shot down by a 33-32 vote.

The biggest reason why? Softball wasn’t included.

“I think they went back and heard that loud and clear and said ‘Okay let’s ask our softball coaches, let’s get this involved to see if they are for the increase to 26,” Holaday added.

So when they recently brought it back to the table with both sports included, it was approved with a 42-17 vote for baseball, and 48-11 for softball.

“I don’t know if fair’s the right word but, deserving of the opportunity,” said Wamego softball head coach Luke Meyer. “If you’re gonna do one, you gotta do the other.”

Coaches have had lots of reasons to push for more than 20 games. One being the unpredictable nature of Kansas spring weather.

“Maybe now that we’re scheduling 26, and really filling up the calendar dates, we’re more likely to actually get a full 20 or maybe 21,” said Holaday.

Another being the chance to grow as athletes by facing different opponents.

“Adding those six games will help add some matchups into your season that maybe you wouldn’t see in a regular season,” Coach Meyer said.

And the hope of drawing more college recruiting attention to Kansas when surrounding states already play more games and get more looks.

“We’ve heard that time and time again from coaches, and college coaches that say that’s a big deal,” Holaday said.

Though it depends who you ask, and schools in rural areas might have different opinions, most are excited about the opportunities an extended season will provide.

“It’s gonna help grow our program for the kids that don’t necessarily have that opportunity for the travel ball to get some more on the field experience,” Meyer added.

And the choice to add more games is entirely up to each team. So now boys and girls will all be able to play a lot more ball.

“We perennially put out top talent,” Holaday said. “We have great sports participation for girls. We’re just really proud how we can make sure that girls have a spot in sports.”

The change will go into effect for the 2023-2024 season.