More rain waterlogs schedule

April 04, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

That bubbling noise you hear is the sound of the spring sports season drowning.

After rain washed out the first week of action, there were familiar complaints by coaches and athletic directors about the hassle of rescheduling games.

Now, after virtually two weeks of games have been postponed, there is concern about whether the season can be salvaged.

Consider this. Already, more than 300 varsity and junior varsity games have been called off. No baseball or softball team has played more than one game. No lacrosse team has played more than two games. Only six weeks remain in the regular season.

When asked if weather had ever disrupted the spring season like it has this year, Howard County Supervisor of Athletics Don Disney laughed and said, "Not even close."

"I just figured out that we have eight practice days left in the season," Hammond baseball coach Bob Maxey said.

Maxey's projection will hold true only if no more precipitation comes this way. Based on the past four weeks, that's wishful thinking. And it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that the season could be in serious jeopardy.

Disney met with the Grounds Department on Friday to discuss ways the season can be preserved. Some of the measures Disney has adopted:

* Instead of deciding on across-the-board county postponements, Disney will leave that decision to up to the athletic director at each host school on a sport-by-sport basis. "Some fields are in worse condition than others, and I'll let the ADs decide which fields are in the best shape," he said.

* Athletic directors will be allowed to schedule games -- including doubleheaders should the need arise -- on Saturdays. Even spring break days, except Passover and Sundays, may be used for makeups.

* Because the rain already has turned the schedule into a mess, Disney will release a revised weekly schedule of games each Monday for the rest of the spring.

Disney also is considering using two sites -- possibly Glenelg and Atholton -- for rescheduled county games to be played on Saturdays from morning until dusk.

Even if every team somehow plays every regular-season game, the past month of weather probably will affect the quality of play.

First, the practice time that has been lost, as Maxey has discovered, cannot be retrieved. That will take away valuable, on-field instruction time from coaches.

Teams could be forced to pack more games into a week. In lacrosse, that could translate into more injuries. In baseball and softball, teams likely will depend more on third- or fourth-line pitchers, leading to longer games and more routs.

Should the inclement weather continue, administrators will be forced to consider postponing playoff dates, an unheard of exercise.

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