Edson: Which High School Sports Are Most Affected By This Weather?
As we pass the mid-point of April, several hundred high school athletic events have been cancelled in northern Michigan.
Several athletic directors have said to me: “I’ve never seen anything like this. This is a scheduling nightmare.”
They are right.
I’ve been involved in northern Michigan sports since the early 1960s, when I was an elementary aged manager for my dad’s football and basketball teams.
I have never seen anything like this. It is frustrating for everyone – athletic directors, coaches, athletes and parents.
It got me to thinking: Which high school sports are most affected by this weather?
Certainly it would be the sports where timing is involved would be No. 1. But that could be baseball and softball – where hitting is so important. Even though there are indoor facilities with hitting cages, there is nothing quite like the speed of game action.
In my mind, it is probably track & field. I’m thinking of events like the hurdles, high jump and pole vaulting. Again, you can simulate some of these events inside, but you can’t get the timing down for sure unless you’re outside.
In fact, when you come to think of it, you can make a good case for just about all of our spring sports.
Not only are our northern Michigan athletes not able to perfectly practice their timing, there are important elements like “game speed” and conditioning.
You also have to wonder how the young arms of baseball and softball pitchers will handle the elements when they finally do get to play.
My thought is that some of these young athletes will try too hard, too early and end up getting hurt.
That’s why it’s important for coaches to caution their athletes about approaching these early games with the reins pulled in.
There will be plenty of time to round into shape. But one costly injury could end the season early for not only one player but their team, as well.
So even though Mother Nature will let go of this bad weather eventually, it’s important that our young athletes proceed with caution when they finally do get outdoors.
Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.