The Nebraska State Softball Tournament is changing. Wednesday, the NSAA Board of Directors approved changing the format along with changing the location of the championship games.
In 2023, the tournament will undergo a major change as it moves the championship games to a new location and changes its format. Instead of being held in Hastings, as it has been for many years, the tournament’s winner take all championship games will be held at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Connie Claussen Field on Monday October 16, 2023. The tournament’s first two and possibly three days will remain in Hastings.
Moving the championship games to Monday will also allow for the NSAA’s broadcast partner, Nebraska Public Media, to broadcast the championship games across the state.
“Having the NSAA State Softball Championship games at Connie Claussen Field will give our student-athletes an opportunity to play in a high-caliber championship venue,” NSAA Assistant Director in charge of softball said. “The venue is TV ready and the live broadcasts will increase the exposure for NSAA softball.”
The format changes were approved by a 5-3 vote by the board. Those changes include the three (Class A, B, C) state championship games to be played on Monday rather than a Friday afternoon. Friday will turn into anywhere from zero “if necessary games” to potentially six “if necessary games.” Instead of an eight team bracket the teams in each class will be in two four-team pools. Those four-team pools will be double elimination to get to one winner. The two pool winners will then face each other in a winner-take-all championship game.
The softball moves mirror what has already been done with baseball for 2023. Nebraska Public Media will now televise the NSAA Baseball and Softball Championship Final Games. A previous change in the format of the championship bracket baseball and Wednesday’s softball decision allows for this television changes because there are set times for the games.
“The NSAA is excited to showcase high school softball and baseball and all of the great programs and teams statewide,” Masters said. “Placing both on live TV will create memories that will last a lifetime for our student athletes.”
The 2023 NSAA Baseball Championship Finals will take place on Friday, May 19th at the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) – Tal Anderson Field.