By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (April 8) – After a nearly three-year process, Rob DeFazio announced on Monday that the St. Bonaventure University Spring Weekend Tournament has been changed from softball to kickball.
DeFazio, director of the Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership (CARL), said many factors went into the decision, but none more important than student safety.
“We have had some pretty bad injuries (during the tournament) before, and we are just trying to provide a safe and fun environment for everyone,” said DeFazio. “We think kickball will provide that.”
Registration forms will be made available Tuesday and registration will be on Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. in Murphy Professional Building, said DeFazio. In addition to the sport change, the tournament will only take place on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27.
Thursday games have been tough to get in the last few years because of the inconsistent spring weather, said DeFazio. Since kickball games generally run shorter than softball, the limit of teams will be moved up to 80.
Also, the games will be six innings long instead of five. All other previous rules still apply to teams:
*Each roster can have no more than 20 players
*Each roster must have at least four members of the opposite sex
*Each player must play the field for at least two innings.
DeFazio said besides player safety, the university looked for ways to make the tournament more inclusive and fairer for everyone.
In previous years, he said, teams would consist of students who had many years of baseball or softball experience and that those teams would use expensive bats and gloves, giving themselves an unfair advantage.
Those issues should be addressed with the switch to kickball, he said. DeFazio said he spoke with many students, faculty, coaches and athletic trainers about playing kickball instead of softball and he said the feedback was that softball would be a better choice.
Even last year’s tournament champions agreed that kickball would be a better choice. The team said they would play basically anything. The university will continue to evaluate the tournament to see if it can be improved in the future.
DeFazio said a snap decision will not be made. One of the positives of playing kickball is that bad weather (except thunder and lightning) will not stop the games – unlike softball.
Besides the tournament, Spring Weekend will stay mostly the same as last year, with the exception of more inflatables and even a zip line. Lastly, DeFazio said anyone who has a suggestion for the future can contact the student-run Campus Activities Board (CAB).