SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District board discussed strategies to encourage more participation in community youth softball programs during a board meeting Wednesday.
Recreation Program Supervisor Zach Stewart said the district is beginning to implement fastpitch softball instruction into fourth- and fifth-grade programs, with the hope that softball programs for girls in the sixth grade and older can transition to fastpitch.
Recreation district Executive Director Seth Ulvestad said transitioning to fastpitch is an attempt to generate more interest in the district’s softball programs.
“We’ve always done (girls softball); it’s always been in our basket of programs. At this point it’s about how do we make it a valid thing for girls to be interested in?” Ulvestad said.
At-large board member Art Baures said state high schools have been working on creating softball leagues, noting that the current lack of high school softball programs could pose a Title Nine issue.
“The (Wyoming High School Activities Association) is absolutely going to have fastpitch softball sanctioned very soon in the state,” Baures said.
The potential of higher-level softball programs taking shape could organically generate more interest in the community, which the recreation district could look to capitalize on by establishing and promoting its own programs, Baures said.
Recreation district board Vice President Casey Osborn added that youth softball could prove to be an opportunity for the district to cater to a new market and an opportunity to offer a more inclusive range of activities.
“This is a great opportunity for the rec district to get on that bandwagon and kind of use it as a way to get ourselves into the community, focus on girls — there’s a lack of girls’ participation,” Osborn said.
Stewart said the district has several softball clinics planned between now and the summer season, but enrollment in those clinics has been low thus far.
Osborn suggested aggressively promoting those clinics in an effort to expose more Sheridan girls to softball and begin generating additional interest in the programs that the district will offer.