The NCAA is looking into an overhaul of the playoffs leading up to the College World Series by expanding the number of first-round host ballparks to 32 from the present 16, though the number of teams in the tourney would remain the same.
The rationale behind the move: by increasing the number of host ballparks, more tournament games can be played outside the South and the Southwest. It would also mirror the regular season: the first round would be a best-of-three situation. Last year only one postseason round was played in the Northeast and no rounds were played in the Midwest. Doing this may mean a reduction in the length of the NCAA season to 52 games or an earlier start to the season.
The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee has been discussing possible changes, and we’re far from a decision being made. There are some practical issues involved, too: whether enough ballparks are actually capable of hosting a NCAA tourney: attendance has been rising, and the NCAA has some requirements regarding and facilities that some smaller schools can’t handle. There are also scheduling issues involved as well with college teams sharing quarters with pro franchises.
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see features before they’re posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.