Baseball Unable To Play Under The Lights




With the spring season rolling around, those who spit sunflower seeds and hit home runs take center stage as the baseball and softball seasons are in full swing. With the giant towering lights out past the outfield, many baseball players dream of playing a primetime game under the lights for many to see.

Players dreams of hitting a walk-off into the night where they can get mobbed by their teammates in pure joy. These dreams however, can’t become reality at Roseville High school. 

Although the varsity baseball field has lights, the newly built softball field doesn’t have the same luxury. The lack of illumination on the softball field leads to the baseball team not being able to use the lights. 

Varsity catcher Jett Ropke feels that the reason they can’t use the lights is due to an unfair rule.

“Title 9 is the reason why we can’t use the lights, it’s because the girls team doesn’t have lights,” said Ropke. “Because of this, we can’t use the lights the school paid for, for night games and in general.”

Title 9 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in any activity includinmg sports. The simple issue of having lights for one gender and not the other, is a violation of the law if the lights are in use.

The lights haven’t been a huge issue yet, however it will become an issue in the next year and on, due to the new starting school time at 8:30 next year. 

The new time will push everything back, including practice and game times. Having lights on available for the softball field would be a huge help for the programs, especially the baseball program as they could then hold games after dark.

“The softball team could get portable lights,” said Ropke. “I’m sure the baseball team would even help raise money, just to play a night game.” 

Although this hasn’t been the biggest problem for the baseball program, life for the baseball players would be much easier. Senior first baseman Gavin Ruggiero feels that being able to utilize the lights would relieve stress off the players.

“Like afterschool, not having to rush through warmups, and get in some good reps before the game. I feel like we would be able to prepare more,” said Ruggiero. 

Although the baseball program seeks for lights on the softball field to bypass the law of Title 9, several varsity softball players, including infielder Marissa Jordan, feel that lights for their own field might not be necessary. 

“I don’t think we need the lights because we end up winning like real quick. And we run rule a lot of teams. I think we’re fine without them,” said Jordan. 

Varsity pitcher Malaya Johnson feels that regardless if the softball program gets lights, baseball shouldn’t be affected.

“I feel like we should be able to get lights or just baseball use theirs,” said Johnson. “It’s not a big deal now but after next year it might need to be something that’s taken up with the school.”

The inequality over the lights will be a topic of discussion for years to come, but  with the baseball season coming up, Ropke feels his squad is ready to win big.

“We’re ready to roll,” said Ropke. “The team chemistry is off the charts and it’s going to be a fun season.”