Class B softball has only been around for seven years in North Dakota, but routinely has produced the biggest crowds of the spring tournament weekend.
Look at how far this sport has come. In 2012, the state tournament was on the backfields at Elmwood Park in West Fargo. Thursday, the top eight Class B teams will be playing at the million dollar Tharaldson Complex at NDSU.
No sport in North Dakota has had the kind of growth that softball has. The numbers back it up. 2009 was the first year softball was sanctioned in the state. There were 12 varsity teams, with 344 players. A decade later there are 48 teams in two classes, with nearly 11 hundred players.
One can point to its a different sport for girls to play in the spring that's not track, soccer or tennis. Another reason? It's fun. the sport has brought out girls who may not have played a varsity sport, some who may not be the most athletic. Several Class B coaches told me the numbers for summer softball teams is increasing and it doesn't appear to be slowing.
So if you see plenty of coverage of Class B softball on the news and read it in the newspaper and ask why, there's a simple reason. More girls are playing and more are coming.
Class B softball is here to stay.