WCWS gets NCAA OK to expand to 9-day event

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The Women’s College World Series will expand to a nine-day event beginning in 2022, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.

The event’s expansion by two days eliminates the need for doubleheaders for teams that lose on the first day of the tournament.

Teams that advance to the finals will also get an extra day’s rest.

Sandy Atkins, the committee chair and deputy director of athletics at Troy, said in a statement that the new format prioritizes players’ “rest, recovery and preparation” while also allowing for more options when it comes to potential weather delays.

“The engagement from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, particularly the active coaches who have participated in the Women’s College World Series, helped identify the day off before the championship series and minimizing doubleheaders as key recommendations to improve the championship,” Atkins said.

“That focused feedback helped us narrow in on this alternative format that targets those priorities, while still preserving the format components that allow for a competitive series and quality experience for teams and fans.”

Softball coaches have long suggested extending the tournament much like the Men’s College World Series, during which teams usually have a day off between games.

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