RENTON, Wash. - The WIAA Executive Board voted at its April 22 meeting to revitalize the girls’ slowpitch softball season beginning with the fall season of 2018-19 school year with the potential for a WIAA State Championship tournament in 2019-20 pending the number of participating schools.
Slowpitch softball has been a sanctioned WIAA sport for many years, but the season and championship tournament were discontinued when participation dwindled throughout the 1990’s. With the reemergence of the sport offered in several leagues including the Greater Spokane League (GSL), Greater Saint Helen’s League (GSHL) and the Columbia Basin Big 9, the Executive Board saw a rekindled interest in the sport and reintroduced a sanctioned fall season.
Slowpitch softball was the only form of the sport played by schools when it was adopted by the WIAA beginning in 1978-79. As the sport evolved, schools and leagues chose to participate in either fastpitch or slowpitch, with the first WIAA fastpitch championship being held in 1992. By 2003, all WIAA classifications had transitioned to fastpitch with the last WIAA slowpitch softball championship being held in 2002.
The reintroduction of the sport will be a shift from year’s past with the slowpitch season taking place in the fall while fastpitch will remain in the spring, allowing for more opportunities for students to take part in a school-related activity.
“Due to increasing interest in a fall sports season for slowpitch softball, the WIAA is pleased to announce that an official season will begin this fall,” said WIAA Executive Board President Lori Wyborney. “This is a great opportunity to reach more female athletes and increase the number of students who get the benefits of competitive athletics.”