School board will consider adding girls softball to curriculum tonight

Nearly three years after CISD trustees conceded to public demands for the addition of girls softball and boys baseball programs to the school curriculum, the resulting “extracurricular sports plan” will meet its first official test. In their meeting next Monday, October 9, the board will consider whether to add softball to the schedule as a girls sport.

The timeline for that decision was established in a six-phase plan approved by the board in March 2015. Phase one involved establishing a successful summer girls softball program with participation by at least 20 girls in grades 7-12 from 2015-17.

In the three intervening years, summer baseball and both girls fast-pitch and adult slow-pitch softball leagues have steadily grown in both player and spectator involvement, more than doubling in the number of participants from 2015 to 2017. The baseball and softball programs have been active in league and tournament play, and have kept the lights burning at Hemphill County’s sports complex from April through October.

Phase II of the plan has arrived and, at the risk of mixing metaphors, the ball is back in Canadian ISD’s court again.

According to the plan, the school trustees decision on Monday evening will be based on four criteria: whether ASATR funding is in place in some form; whether 20 or more girls in grades 8-11 are committed to participating in the sport; whether there are 275 students enrolled in high school; and whether the district’s wealth per ADA, according to the TEA, exceeds $10,000.

With the board’s approval, Phase III of the plan provides for adding an “outlaw girls softball” schedule in Spring 2018, and applying to the UIL for inclusion of Canadian’s girls softball in 2019 District play.

Contingent upon those steps, the school will then secure an agreement from Hemphill County for use of the baseball complex and approval of upgrades and hire additional staff in preparation for fielding the first CHS girls softball team in Spring 2019 UIL competition.

The remaining three phases are related to the addition of boys baseball in October 2018, and will require separate approval by the board.

All school board meetings are open to the public. The meeting begins at 6:30 pm, and will be held in the school administration building at 800 Hillside.

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