Summer sports: detrimental to students’ success


Joe Hoskins

Pleasant Valley Baseball team standings for the national anthem before playing in the hot, summer heat.

Abby Riley , Sports Editor

Iowa is the only remaining US state with summer sports and Iowa athletes are falling behind their peers because of it.

This has been an Iowa tradition for years and unfortunately, its end is nowhere in sight. Of the 48 states that offer school-sanctioned baseball and softball, Iowa is the only state that still holds their season in the summer.

Baseball was first offered in Iowa in 1928, and the athletic association tested the waters in both a fall and spring season before finally landing on a summer season in 1946. It was not until 1957 that softball was officially recognized, but it has also been held in the summer ever since.

Some say Iowa originally chose the summer so that students could plant crops in the spring, play baseball in the summer, and harvest in the fall. This may have been valid in 1946, but its current relevancy must be reconsidered.

For many students, the summer is for working, relaxing, and taking a break from school. However, baseball and softball players do not have this luxury; their summers are filled with long days in the sun, leaving little time to do much else.

Junior softball player Carly Lundry misses out on working in the summers. “A lot of us have to quit our jobs in the summer because of how much time we spend at softball,” she said. With practice and game schedules being so sporadic, it’s nearly impossible to find an employer willing to work around practices, games, and lifting.

Along with not getting the opportunity to build lifelong work skills or the ability to make money for college, recruiting is also a challenge. In other states, athletes are able to play for travel teams during the summer. These teams attend nationwide tournaments to get exposure from college coaches, but this opportunity is not available for Iowa athletes.

Senior Carter Hoskins has found that the recruiting process is much more challenging for him and his teammates compared to athletes even just on the other side of the river. “Most college teams recruit in the spring, so by the time our season rolls around, schools have already filled their rosters,” Hoskins said.

Why would any state want to put their student-athletes in a position where they cannot get a job, have a hard time getting recruited, and lack any free time? Moving baseball and softball seasons to the spring would create a better environment for success in all aspects of the sport, and it is time for Iowa to make this change.