The CHSAA office announced some significant developments for the state softball tournament on Tuesday.
First, the rosters will expand from the current limit of 12 to 15, thanks to a new variance which has been granted from the Governor's COVID Response Team. This change is effective immediately.
"Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green's work with the state’s COVID Response team will benefit roster size and equitable opportunities as we head into the last week of the season and into the state tournament," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, who oversees softball.
Second, the state softball tournament is changing from a one-day format, and will instead have first-round and quarterfinal games be played at home sites, hosted by the higher seed. First round games will be played Oct. 6, unless both teams agree to play Oct. 7. Quarterfinals will be played on Oct. 8.
The semifinals and championship games will continue to be played at Aurora Sports Park on Oct. 10, with semifinals at 10 and 10:30 a.m., and the championship games at 1:30 p.m. Games will be played on three individual complexes from semifinals to finals.
"We believe this will help with player safety, limit contact among large groups, as well as cut down on travel for some teams and allow more fans to celebrate their teams' success," Borgmann said. "With capacity restrictions still in place, playing at home sites will allow for more fans for teams."
Each classification will have a 16-team state tournament. Teams will qualify and be seeded by the CHSAA Seeding Index, which takes into account the RPI, MaxPreps rankings and CHSAANow coaches poll.
Also of note: CHSAA cannot overturn federal and state guidelines in regards to quarantine, and therefore in the event a team on the bracket is quarantined, that team's games will be treated as a bye on the bracket. No previously non-qualifying team will be moved onto the state bracket.
State championship shirts and memorabilia are available now: store.kukulskibrothers.com.