Winter weather is wreaking havoc on school sporting schedules

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 8:50 am on Thursday, January 30, 2014

After back-to-back mild winters, this winter has been anything but.

The extreme cold, wind and snow has cause schools to cancel class multiple times this winter already. This week alone, students have missed four straight days.

In addition, and this isn’t always the case when school is canceled, athletic events have been canceled as frequently as school. Some events, like the Greenville/Lowell boys and girls basketball games have been rescheduled three times this winter.

As the season nears an end it is increasingly more difficult for area athletic directors to find open dates to rescheduled canceled events.

“This has been the worst winter I can remember in my 14 years of coaching,” Carson City-Crystal athletic director Larry Farmer said. “Our boys (basketball) have only had seven games this year, so far. Beal City canceled girls basketball (Tuesday) and are now saying they don’t have anytime to make the game up.”

The basketball regular season for both boys and girls consists of 20 games. Due to the difficulty and potential future weather challenges, some teams may be left short of 20 games this season. District tournaments begin the Feb. 24 for the girls and March 3 for the boys.

“We are scrambling to try and find another game or we end up getting shorted a game,” Farmer said. “The kids want to play so it’s tough.”

Conference wrestling tournaments take place Friday and Saturday for area teams. District tournaments take place on Feb. 5 and 6.

For Greenville athletic director Brian Zdanowski, the main problem is having enough dates open to reschedule on, especially this late in the season.

“It’s getting harder and harder as we get closer and closer to the end of the season, especially for the girls (basketball),” he said. “We are having to reschedule nonconference games so our conference games can be played.”

That is the reason for tonight’s Greenville/Lowell basketball games. Originally schedule for Dec. 20, the game was rescheduled for Monday. Monday was postponed until Wednesday, but that had to change due to Tuesday’s cancelations.  O-K Conference games were bumped back a day forcing Lowell to play another contest. Greenville’s boys were scheduled off on Tuesday.

The new date for the Greenville/Lowell games is Feb. 3, weather permitting.

Farmer said both schools have to agree to play when school has been canceled. There is no rule stating sporting events can’t take place if school does not.

“It’s a two-way street regarding cancelations. It’s like firing a submarine missile. You need two keys to do so,” Farmer said. “If one of the two teams can’t make it then we cancel. Sometimes one wants to play, but the other can’t.”

That would be the case with the Eagles home game Tuesday against Beal City. Carson City-Crystal was set to host, but the Aggies pulled out of making the trip.

Our school’s policy is wait and see,” Farmer said. “Sometimes the road clears up and the weather clears out. We just try to watch it.”

Greenville tries to reschedule basketball games during the week. Although, that isn’t always possibly as they have rescheduled a recent cancelation for an upcoming Saturday.

“We try to reschedule during the week,” Zdanowski said. “But it gets to the point where you have to work around exams and other events. So Saturday’s do free some time up.”

Another difficulty is finding officials. Instead of games being spread out, games are now bunching up on certain days. That leaves a shortage of available officials.

“It’s definitely a winter that has stood out with regards to cancelations,”Zdanowski said. “When we get to a certain point of the season conference games will take precedent. First we try to reschedule everything if possible.”

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