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Can we get a DOME?

April 13, 2011 - Michael Palmer
Another day of rain, another plethora of postponements. And with soggy conditions all over the Ohio Valley, it seems that today's slate of prep sporting events is also in jeopardy. I know the players want to get out and onto the field as much as I want to get back out and shoot some Spring sports photos.

Monday night I was scheduled to cover the JB Green Team meeting in Bellaire, so I checked the schedule and found out that I could stop by on the way back to the office and shoot some softball. I was not scheduled for it, but thanks to the meeting being run by a softball parent, I was out early and had the opportunity, so I did not want to miss it.

The spring sports season started March 28, which means there have been 14 play dates so far. There's been at least one cancellation on 10 of those days because the fields just haven't had a chance to really dry out completely this Spring.

Local ADs have dealt with more postponements in the first two weeks of this season than all of last season and with forecasts promoting that the recent weather pattern will continue with more showers scheduled for Saturday, the area will be faced with more rescheduling.

Ad’s and umpires work at the daunting task of unscrambling a mess of makeup dates. With state rules limiting the amount of games played per week, baseball pitchers tightly restricted on innings pitched, the challenge increases.

OHSAA rule changes have mandated that Fridays and Saturdays are the only days of the week when baseball and softball doubleheaders are allowed. Even then, few stadiums have the lighting for baseball twi-night double headers on Fridays.

Some ADs are wishing that their baseball and softball diamonds were also built on artificial turf as the OVAC cut off dates are quickly approaching. Next Wednesday, Apr 20 the Baseball regular season ends. Next Saturday, Apr 23 the Softball regular season ends and the OVAC baseball semifinals are slated to get underway.

Postponements keep piling up and fields stay soaked, thus making each game that teams can get played suddenly even more important.

Is there a minimum number of games that need to be played to qualify for OHSAA tournament drawings? You know that question is on the mind of local baseball and softball coaches with sectional tournament drawings to be held May 1.

Tarps, shop vacs and in the most extreme case scenario - even Army National Guard helicopters may have to be called in to get this season completed.


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