Last fall, a new sports team was created at Bloomsburg University, creating a fight for room in Nelson Field House.
Space was made for women’s volleyball, which resulted in softball’s move to a new locker room located in the old forestry building.
Members of the softball team found out about the move in the fall semester of 2018 and have since adjusted and are feeling better about the changes.
Balee Leeser, a junior on the softball team, explains: “At first everyone was in shock, just because we weren’t open to change…we understand what had happened wasn’t in anyone’s control and we’re thankful for all of the efforts that were put into helping us adjust.”
Many steps must be taken when adding a new team to the athletic department, and in the end, it must coincide with the guidelines established in Title IX.
Kathy Heitzman the Associate Director of Athletics is versed in keeping the athletic department in accordance. She explained that the volleyball team needed something to use, and moving softball would be more beneficial and easier for everyone since their field is more remote.
“It does put their locker room closer to their field…most student athletes from [softball] would just grab their stuff and go straight to the field…they don’t have a need to come back to the field house” Heitzman said.
Lesser was in agreement, but also expressed difficulties they faced.
“When the weather is nice, we don’t really have a place we get ready for practice – we just meet at our field.”
Lesser also continued and explained the challenges of having a locker room apart from Nelson.
“We practice inside the majority of our season, and it is somewhat of a hassle not to have our own secured meeting place” she said.
Currently, Nelson houses sixteen of the nineteen Bloomsburg sports teams, as both tennis and now softball occupy individual facilities near their respective courts and fields.
Future plans for upgrading the softball and baseball facilities are being discussed, but no final decisions have been made at this time.