More to rescheduling sports than meets the eye

Activities directors across the state are dealing with a rescheduling nightmare due to the postponements of spring sports the past month.

The home team makes the call to the visiting team or teams when a game or meet is postponed or canceled.

A makeup date for a postponement cannot just be picked from an open date on the calendar. Umpires and buses have to be available, while concerts and other activities also have to be taken into consideration.

According to Rush City Activities Director Robert Schlagel, this is the worst by far, the latest start to spring sports he has ever witnessed.

The section and state games and meets will not be changed so spring sports can not be extended.

Track and field meets are usually canceled because it’s difficult to set up a make up date for them since not just one, but many schools are at each meet. The conference title is decided at the conference championship meet.

Conference baseball and softball games, as well as boys tennis meets need to be played to determine the conference champion. Most non-conference baseball and softball games will be canceled if they haven’t been already, to be replaced with conference games.

The schools are trying to reschedule baseball and softball games as double headers, and golf as triangulars or as quad meets.

But, there is now a shortage of umpires since all the schools are trying to reschedule so many sports all at once. The state usually requires two umpires at baseball and softball games, but because of this is allowing exceptions and requiring only one.

The state is also allowing double headers to only go to five innings rather than seven.

On top of the lack of umpires, because so many sports will be making up at the same time, there may be a shortage of buses.

Another consideration is that sports have to be scheduled to be over in time for athletes to attend other school activities such as music concerts, so there is a limit to how many double headers can be scheduled.

“There is so much communication going on it’s crazy.” said Schlagel. “We’re in a position where we don’t care if games are away or home so long as we play.”

Activities directors have to communicate back and forth to get the date, the umpires and the buses, while hoping for no more postponements.

To top it off, golf courses aren’t open yet, though some are expected to open next week. Courses farther north, such as Aitkin, don’t plan to open until a week later.

Schlagel is not sure if the frost is even out of Rush City’s fields, which are like most fields — wet and snow-covered.

The snow isn’t even melting,” said Schlagel. “We need some nice days with wind.”

But that doesn’t look promising with thunderstorms forecast this weekend. It’s anyone’s guess as to when it will dry out enough for outdoors spring sports to begin.

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