NCAA softball is growing. Here’s some information to support that fact. According to SportsTVRatings this year’s WCWS’s game 3 between Auburn and Oklahoma was the most watched sports program on cable television that night. The game was watched by 1,476,000 million viewers beating the Copa American Soccer game between Brazil and Haiti that had only 643,000 viewers. New stadiums and updating to existing ones are happening all around the country. Teams are also seeing record attendance at games. Plus there’s more coverage on tv then ever thanks to ESPN and there sister stations. All these are good things but they do come with a downside.
One of the things that drew me to the game is the fun aspect. With so many college sports being all about winning at almost any cost it’s nice to see players having fun. Sometimes the players in other popular sports look like their serving a prison sentence on the team afraid that one mistake could ruin their whole future for making it to the pros to play. Softball doesn’t have that feel instead it’s a fun atmosphere where it’s about doing your best and trying to win the game but also having some fun while doing it.
Unfortunately as the game grows and becomes more successful the suits that run it feel the need to make the game appear more professional. One recent example of this is the NCAA’s recent crackdown right before the start of this years World Series to limit props and uniform alterations in the dugouts. Anybody that’s watched a softball game has seen the fun antics that take place in the dugouts. It’s just clean fun and in my mind adds to the atmosphere of the game.
Please NCAA don’t legislate the fun out of softball. Let these young women have fun playing the game.