Hello Fastpitch Fans,
I’ve attended parts of every WIAA State Softball Tournament. It all began in 1976 with the state tournament held at Olbrich Park in Madison where Madison West defeated Elmwood 27-8 in the championship game.
Waukesha became the site of the State Tournament in 1977, and the tournament was held in that location the next 25 years. The championship moved back to Madison and has been held at UW's Goodman Diamond since 2002.
The only interruption in conducting the State Tournament Series to its completion came in 2020. The entire season and Tournament Series were canceled to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was only one class of competition in the first three years of the tournament, but there was an A and B division in both 1979 and 1980, and the C division was added in 1981. Terminology was changed in 1991 from classes to divisions (1-2-3). In 2002, the tournament series expanded to four divisions. In 2017, the tournament expanded to five divisions with Division 1 represented by eight teams and Divisions 2, 3, 4 and 5 by four qualifying teams.
Stevens Point leads all programs in State titles won with nine; Kimberly has seven championships; and Marion has won six. Denmark, Oakfield and Poynette have won five championships. Ashwaubenon and Horicon have won four titles, and Laconia, Loyal, McDonell Catholic and Pacelli have won three titles.
Four of Stevens Point's eight titles came consecutively from 2001-04 to have the distinction of being the only school to accomplish that feat. Schools that have won three consecutive championships in addition to Stevens Point are Laconia (2015-17), Ashwaubenon (1992-94), Loyal (1978-80) and Marion (1990-92).
Stevens Point leads all member schools in the number of trips to the State Tournament with 18. Then comes Ashwaubenon with 16, and Kimberly and Oakfield with 14. Chippewa Falls is next with 13 appearances. Homestead, Poynette and Verona have 11 State experiences, Wilmot Union with 10, and Cedarburg, Elmwood, Loyal, Oak Creek, Pacelli and Watertown each having made nine appearances.
I have quite a few of the State Tournament Programs. I have thought it would be interesting to try to gather, collect, purchase etc. programs from the years I do not have. I did not always purchase a program at the tournament, especially the early years.
The years I am looking for include all years from 1976 through 1996 and then just a couple more including 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2014. If you have an extra copy or would be interested in adding to the collection here, just contact me at email@example.com. There just has to be extra copies of those years out there.
Another one of my softball collections is Rules books. I have them all the way back into the 1930s when the Joint Rules on Softball were first published.