‘All things’ approach bad for ball fields
Currently the new National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex is being built behind Superior High School. The long-term plan has been to build a football and baseball field. Superintendent, Janna Stevens decided to make the baseball field a baseball/softball field when a Title IX complaint was presented to the School Board by the softball community.
Now the short-term plan is to make the baseball field a “multi-use” field with a 45-foot backstop and foul lines instead of the proper distance of 60 feet so softball, which has 25-foot backstop and foul lines, can also use the field. The stated long-term district plan is to build a new turf softball field at Superior Middle School when more funds become available.
The only problem with the long-term plan is that now that the baseball field is a baseball/softball field, the softball field would also have to be a baseball/softball field to be in compliance with Title IX. A proposal was submitted to the School Board and Ms. Stevens to keep the baseball field at 60 feet, fix the two softball fields at Superior Middle School (which is what the softball community initially wanted but was ignored), which would put the district in compliance with Title IX. Instead, the school district will have to now buy a “removable” pitching mound, 600 feet of temporary fencing, removable plates, removable lines, and so on.
And when the new Superior Middle School field is built, the same equipment will have to be purchased for that field, as it will be required to be “multi-use” also under Title IX. What started out as a short-term “solution” will now be a permanent problem for both softball and baseball programs.
There is still time to do what is the most sensible and fiscally prudent option. Sometimes you can’t be all things to all people, and this is one of those times.