CODY, Wyo. Girls Fast Pitch Softball is a high school sport in every state except Wyoming, and South Dakota.
But, that may change soon. Parents and student athletes in Cody and other Wyoming cities are pushing to get the sport sanctioned.
The members of Cody Pride Softball organization are serious about fast pitch softball.
“They’ve won three state championships in the last five years.The President of the Cody Pride Softball Organization, Keith Ungrund pointed out. "They’ve also compete in tournaments in Montana.”
But, they won’t represent the Cody Fillies, because their sport is not sanctioned by the Wyoming High School Activity Association.
Ungrund said it’s time to change, “There’s hundreds of girls in Wyoming who play this sport. They have a passion for the game, and they need an opportunity in the high schools.”
Ungrund pointed out Wyoming and South Dakota have one thing in common.
He said, “Every other state in the United States except for two have sanctioned girls fast pitch softball as a high school sport.”
Ungrund said the WHSAA offers eleven sanctioned sports for boys, and only ten for girls. That may not satisfy the requirements of Title 9, a federal law requiring equal opportunities for girls to participate in sports. While it may be a legal issue, it’s a real life issue for the players.
13 Year Old Catcher Ava Meier said, “… and then we can’t get a scholarship in high school for that sport to go to college in it. And I think that’s kind of bummer.”
“If we don’t have it in high school, I don’t know what I’ll do because, I play volleyball as well, and if I don’t make volley ball I’ll have no sport to play.” 13- Year Old Outfielder Gabi Lee said,
Cody’s High School Athletic Director is distributing surveys, to determine what the student interest is. But, he says there are other questions that have to be answered.
“Financial. Do we have enough kids to support it. If we do will the state have enough schools that want to start it?" Tony Hult explained. "If they do, are there any schools in our area that we could play without going over our travel cap that the state has put on our travel.”
Hult said it will be up to the school board, which cut his budget two years ago, when the state cut theirs.
He explained, “We cut coaches and a lot of money out of our activities budget. So now, we’d be adding it back in. Would we add it back in or cut a couple of things? ”
In the meantime, the families of are bearing the cost for the Cody Pride players to compete.
“Most people don’t have the money to play travel league when it comes to high school.”
Ungrund said some Wyoming schools offered girls wrestling as another sport, but he says wrestling was not even in the top five sports girls chose on surveys.