The high school softball season in Iowa is operating with a new calender this season which officially opened on Monday. Mike Dick is with the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and says the season will start a week earlier this year and will end two weeks earlier. He says the move was made after studies showed fewer girls were playing the sport.

Dick says they asked why and many said the season was too long and too many games and they didn’t get a chance to take a vacation. He says they want to create some family time and not make the girls go directly from softball into volleyball or cross country.

Dick says for many girls who took part in numerous sports there was little if any break. He says if they played in the state softball tournament, there was no time before the next sport started.

While the season will now end earlier the change also means there was a bigger overlap with sports like soccer, track and field and golf. Dick says a number of years ago this was when softball started and it worked back then. And the state tournament will now be held in mid-July, the 11th through the 15th, in Fort Dodge.