In October 2018 a group of girls took turns at the podium in front of seven Cody School Board trustees and the superintendant, each providing reasons for why softball should be a high school sport.
Skye Nielsen, then a second grader at Sunset School, said she’d been playing since age 5.
“I really like batting and running the bases and making new friends,” she said. “I really want softball when I’m older.”
Now she’ll have that chance.
High school softball is officially coming to Wyoming after a unanimous vote Tuesday by the Wyoming High School Activities Association.
The first sanctioned softball season will be played in the spring of 2021. Wyoming had been one of just two states to not have a sanctioned high school softball season.
Last October athletes, parents and coaches from Cody Pride softball and other youth teams pushed Cody to be one of the first districts to approve adding the sport.
At that point only the two Gillette high schools had signaled support for softball, but local players were the first to go to the district to ask.
“Pride was the front runner in making this happen,” program president Keith Ungrund said recently.
Ungrund said the WHSAA will begin working on certifications for umpires. They also will begin working with school district activity directors on scheduling and certifying coaches.
Some boards, including Cody, still have to officially approve adding the sport.
Money was a major cause of concern for Cody trustees before the vote.
Superintendent Ray Schulte said at the time it would likely cost $40,000-50,000.
Still, the measure passed unanimously following 15 people, mostly softball players, speaking in support.