A Wednesday night meeting in Laramie brought down the final pillar. Now all eyes turn to the Wyoming High School Activities Association to sanction high school softball. The first step in which will come in a matter of weeks.
Albany County School District No. 1 unanimously voted to approve softball at Laramie High School at Wednesday night’s school board meeting, according to a report from the Laramie Boomerang. With that vote Laramie became the eighth high school necessary for sanctioning a high school sport under WHSAA bylaws.
Last October, Park County School District No. 6 became the first to adopt softball, paving the way for Cody High School. Sweetwater 1 and 2 adopted the measure soon after (Rock Springs and Green River) and Campbell 1 (Gillette and Thunder Basin) approved softball in March just before Natrona 1 voted in favor in early April. Albany 1’s initial vote, which came in the Spring, was split 4-4 with one member absent. The school board at that time said they would revisit the issue after adopting its new budget for the upcoming fiscal cycle.
The WHSAA discussed the adoption of softball at its April board of directors meeting. The board stated at that time that, as long as the necessary eight schools voted in favor, they would sanction softball. Among a table discussion came the decision not to implicate a hard deadline, although commissioner Ron Laird did state that adding an eighth team before the board’s September meeting would be ideal so that the board can give the decision its official first and second readings before the February 2020 Board of Directors meeting came to a close. That would give the board time to schedule not only the season but the necessary clinics and camps for players, coaches and officials. It was also reiterated at that time the board’s intent was to always implement high school softball in the spring.
Dr. Daniel Swartos, executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association told the Star-Tribune earlier this year that his organization has been keeping an eye on softball’s development in Wyoming. South Dakota and Wyoming are the only two states to not sanction high school softball. With softball becoming all but an inevitability in Wyoming, South Dakota’s adoption could aide Wyoming teams. That would open the door for interstate games for the two nearby Gillette high schools. That’s already an option for Cody, Green River and Rock Springs, with both Idaho and Utah playing spring softball seasons.
So the eyes of neighboring states, not just Wyoming’s softball community, will be affixed on the WHSAA’s late-September board of director’s meeting, when the first official motions are taken toward adopting high school softball.