The Division I Competition Oversight Committee this week approved a change to the super regional format of the Division I Softball Championship, which will take effect in the 2017 season.

Next season, the super regionals will be conducted as three-day competitions. Previously, the softball super regionals were conducted over a two-day period with the third game, if necessary, played as part of a doubleheader on the second day.

Since the third game of the best-of-three series is for a berth in the Women’s College World Series, the Division I Softball Committee believes it should be played as a standalone game on a separate day.

The super regionals can be played Thursday-Sunday the week before the start of the Women’s College World Series.

“The move to conduct the Division I softball super regional as a three-day competition is one that the committee feels will benefit student-athlete welfare,” said Mollie Lehman, committee chair and senior associate commissioner and CFO of the Western Athletic Conference. “The new schedule allows teams to get proper rest before playing the most important game of their season. We certainly want our student-athletes to have the opportunity to be at their peak performance level as they attempt to advance to championship play at the Women’s College Series."