WCWS Makes Changes for 2022
Last week, the NCAA announced new changes coming to the Women's College World Series after receiving backlash from viewers and media this past year.
Starting next season, the WCWS will be a nine-day event, changing from the original seven days, which gives flexibility for inclement weather, stopping teams from playing all hours of the day and adding rest for the final series.
Weather delays have been quite common in the tournament's history since it's summer in Oklahoma. However, one team's quest for survival prompted an outcry for change from softball fans across the nation.
During the 2021 WCWS, Oklahoma State and Florida State were preparing to play their elimination game, when a three-hour and 20-minute weather delay pushed back the game, making first pitch at 11:50 PM CST, forcing the game to play into the early morning hours. That situation forced the Seminoles to play another series less than 12 hours later. FSU's remarkable run would end in a loss against the Oklahoma Sooners in the final series of the tournament, but the impact on viewers would change softball forever.
"What we've accomplished with this format change for the Women's College World Series is further prioritization of student-athlete rest, recovery and preparation during the event and more flexibility to manage weather delays in Oklahoma City," said Sandy Atkins, committee chair and deputy director of athletics at Troy. "The engagement from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, particularly the active coaches who have participated in the Women's College World Series, helped identify the day off before the championship series and minimizing doubleheaders as key recommendations to improve the championship."
The 2022 Women's College World Series will take place in Oklahoma City, Okla., and run from Thursday, June 2 to Friday, June 10.