CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming High School Athletics Association requires that at least eight high schools commit to offering girls’ fast-pitch softball in order to sanction the sport.
Three more schools could be added to that list if the Laramie County School District Board of Trustees votes to commit to supporting girls’ fast-pitch.
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They discussed that possibility during their Monday, Aug. 5 board meeting and LCSD Superintendent Dr. Boyd Brown says there is a chance the trustees will vote on it in September.
“We have enough interest to offer it at all three schools,” Boyd said.
Cheyenne has three high schools: East, Triumph and South. The school district initially sent out an open-ended survey and found that softball was the most requested sport.
Boyd says they then conducted a follow-up survey which was open from June 26 through July 15.
That survey was sent to junior high and high school girls and their families.
Over 926 responses were received, including 711 from parents and 215 from female students.
492 of the parents said their daughter or daughters would be interested in participating in high school softball and 132 of the students expressed interest.
While interest in the support is sufficient, Boyd says that the financial aspect of adding another activity was the only sticking point.
“We’ve just gone through quite a bit of cuts,” he said. “I think that’s a very difficult position for board members and administrators.”
The board asked Boyd to put together a plan for how the district could fund softball.
He said that the start up costs were estimated at between $68,000-$69,000 per school for the first year. That would amount to about $206,000 across the district.
To fund the sport on an on-going basis, Boyd says that would cost about $50,000-$60,000 per school per year.
In addition to looking at the financial aspects of offering the sport, the school district may organize a community meeting to gather more input.
While a recommendation has not yet been finalized, Boyd said he expects one would be ready for a September board meeting, at which point the trustees would vote on whether LCSD would join the seven other schools committed to girls’ softball.
Currently, Campbell County, Thunder Basin, Cody, Green River, Kelly Walsh, Natrona County and Rock Springs High Schools have committed to offering the sport.
Albany County School District is also in the process of considering offering softball.