May 9, 2014 11:00 AM by Jordan Mason
When the International Olympic Committee added women's fast-pitch softball to the program of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, thousands of young American women jumped for joy. The sport has been working for inclusion since the 1940s, and finally, on American soil, the dream came true.
The 2014 Rocky Mountain State Games in Colorado Springs realized the immense popularity of the sport and had added it to the 42-sport program for this summer's Games, the state's largest sports festival, along with Cricket, Goal Ball, Inline Speed Skating and Roller Derby.
The Rocky Mountain State Games will offer two divisions for women in its debut, Girls Under 12 and Girls Under 14, with the competition scheduled for the Goose Gossage Youth Sports Complex on July 19 during the first of two weekends that make up this year's Games, July 18-20 and July 25-27.
The Rocky Mountain State Games (RMSG) is a multi-sport festival for athletes of all ages and athletic abilities including those with physical disabilities or visual impairment. Recognized by the National Congress of State Games, a member of the United States Olympic Committee.
The Commissioner for the sport in the Rocky Mountain State Games is Jon Peterson.
The fast-paced action will allow each 16-player team to show off its top high school and college prospects in addition to exposing the players to one of the state's finest sports venues named after the Colorado Springs Baseball Hall of Fame closer.
The USA won three of the four gold medals in Olympic Competition between 1996-2008 when the IOC voted to eliminate softball and baseball.
A vigorous international campaign is underway to get Softball back into the Games for the future, and there is guarded optimism, with support from powers like the USA, China, Japan and Cuba that the sports will gain inclusion again. In the meantime, the Women's World Championships are held every two years, with the USA winning the Gold medal nine times.
Teams must register by July 16 by 5:00 p.m. at: www.rockymountainstategames.org
General Guidelines: Teams rosters are limited to 16 players. Each individual player will be registered by his/her coach and must sign the roster/waiver; if under 18 a guardian must sign the roster/waiver. Team coaches must complete a team entry form with roster/waiver signed by each player. The signed roster must be submitted to the RMSG office no later than Friday, July 11th. Rosters completed after July 11th must be turned in on-site to the commissioner prior to the first game.
Competition Format: NFHS rules (www.nfhs.org) will govern this competition. The tournament will be a pool play into split bracket, single elimination format with a 3 game guarantee, weather permitting. The first 8 teams in each division will be accepted. The home team will be required to keep the official book for each game. Teams are required to wear matching jerseys. Length of games will be limited to 1:15 or maximum of 6 innings, whichever is first. The 10 Run rule will go into effect if, after 5 innings, one team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the coach of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent.