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Weather creates delays for all spring sports
Most in position to make up games on next available day
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Dealing with bad weather is a headache for every spring sports coach, and even more frustrating since it's something no one can do anything about.

When heavy rain, like the 2 1/4 inches that had fallen in Gainesville as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, it brings baseball, tennis, golf, soccer and track and field all to a stand still.

"As a coach in the spring, it's (bad weather) something that you know is going to happen and just deal with the best you can," said Chestatee boys soccer coach Michael Herrin.

Waiting for the rain to stop is the first obstacle. Then coaches have to make every effort to reschedule games missed, with region games a priority, at the first available date.

If bad weather lasts for a number of days consecutively, it creates a backlog that can have a ripple affect for weeks to come.

Depending on which region a team plays in, different rules apply to when a game should be played.

Games scheduled against a non-region opponent sometimes get scrapped for the sake of getting in necessary contests.

Coaches also have the discretion of playing games on Saturday, but that also falls at the mercy of getting the necessary referees to the game venue, as well as transporting athletes.

In Region 8-AAA, baseball coaches by virtue of vote, are required to make up region games on the next available date.

At Gainesville, its baseball game planned for Wednesday at Monroe Area has been rescheduled for Thursday at Ivey-Watson Field.

Although, with the amount of rain that the area received, even that will be a stretch, despite adequate draining at the home field of the Red Elephants.

"The main thing is that we don't want to fall behind with region games," Gainesville coach Jeremy Kemp said.

White County will also try to make up its postponed game today against Chestatee in Cleveland, while Lumpkin County will attempt to play its game against Stephens County today in Dahlonega.

If the fields are still too wet to play today, then Saturday will be the next available day.

"I don't know if we'll be able to play (today) unless we getting the sun out with 20-mile per hour winds all day," Lumpkin County coach Dustin Allen said.

"We'll go out and look to see if by some miracle the field is dry enough to play (today), but I doubt it will be," White County coach John Brown said.

Tennis also deals with the same guidelines in Region 8-AAA with matches obligated to be played on the next available day.

East Hall coach Joe Bagwell has proposed before that high school tennis be moved to a fall sport due to weather, as well as players coming off summer competition and still in playing shape.

"Anytime you have moisture, it's going to affect match play real bad," Bagwell said. "The cold and wind this time of year also affects the quality of play."

However, the biggest logjam of activities takes place at schools with a soccer field for middle school, junior varsity and varsity activities, along with a track around the field.

At Chestatee, when soccer and track activities are postponed, they all have to find a time when they can use the venue individually without overlapping events.

Then, soccer coaches have to go online to find the next available time that referees can be on hand to play the game.

Game cancellations have to made in enough time to let referees know, since they get paid if they show up and go through warmups.

Playing on Saturdays is usually a last resort, according to Herrin.

"Having bad weather in the spring is brutal," Herrin said. "Especially, when you have a whole lot of rain, it affects games for sometimes a week straight."

Chestatee's girls program will play its game scheduled for Wednesday against Rabun Gap in Gainesville at 6:45 on March 21 at War Eagles Stadium.

Some schools don't share a field for all its soccer programs.

For example, Gainesville's varsity plays at City Park, but the junior varsity and middle school play at the Allen Creek Soccer Complex.

However, the Allen Creek Complex also holds games for Lanier Soccer Association and local private schools, making scheduling there difficult at times.

As for track & field, coaches are not obligated to make meets up, even though Flowery Branch coach Jimmy Sorrells says he also tries to fit a meet back in when one is cancelled.

On rainy days, like Wednesday, Sorrells has him team doing P90X workout videos in the school's gym to stay in shape.

"When you have bad weather in the spring, you just have to roll with the punches," Sorrells said.


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