When we all look back at the 2021 campaign, most will notice a season packed with quite a lot. First off, it was the first time fans, players, coaches, and more were allowed to enjoy the game back to its fullest, free of massive restrictions. The campaign also marked the first time away from the hallowed grounds of Principal Park for the first time in 16 years. It marked a return to the storied grounds of Merchants Park in Carroll for the Class 1A and Class 2A state tournaments. It also marked the inauguration of high school baseball state tournament action at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City (Class 3A and Class 4A). The tournament schedules will be altered slightly for the 2022 run. Instead of three straight days of action the schedules will be more spread out. At Merchants Park in Carroll, Class 1A quarterfinals will begin on Monday, July 19 followed by 2A quarterfinals on Tuesday, July 19. Semi-final action will run July 20th (1A) and 21st (2A). Finally, the championship games will commence on Friday, July 22. Across the way in Iowa City, Duane Banks Field will host the Class 3A quarterfinals will begin on the 18th followed by 4A quarterfinals on July 19th. Wednesday, July 20th and Thursday, July 21 will be the 3A and 4A semi-finals respectively, followed by the title games on Friday, July 22.
While there was a lot that went into the 2021 campaign, there will continue to be changes as we head into the 2022 season. First off, as decided last season, was a change of the start of competition from late May/early June to May 16. On the back end of the schedule, that means a dead week void of any competition prior to the start of the football practice season.
Now, the IHSAA has changed up a few more things, mainly as they pertain to preseason baseball activities. First off, the expansion of preseason hitting workouts. Now, spun out across 15 times across the preseason, coaches will be allowed to offer hitting instruction beginning on February 28th. That date is significant as it marks the 35th week of the NFHS Standardized Calendar.
The second big change to the preseason directly impacts those behind the plate. Beginning January 1st, coaches will now be able to instruct catchers during pitcher/catcher workouts. That is a significant change from the past where coaches were only permitted to instruct the pitchers and the catchers were simply there to catch the pitches.
Any additional information regarding changes to the 2022 season will most likely arrive as the season gets closer to commencing. Make sure to check with our flagship show High and Tight for more conversation on this topic.