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Should the track season start a month later?

Started by Chris, April 15, 2008, 05:40:36 PM

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Let's not postpone these ideas.

Crummy weather often spoils the start of spring sports, so let's move a few of them to the fall or even summer.

By JOHN MILLEA, Star Tribune

Last update: April 15, 2008 - 8:45 AM

The first day of practice for high school golf, softball and track teams in Minnesota was March 10. More than six weeks later, many of those teams have not yet taken part in an outdoor competition. Baseball teams, which began practice March 17, also have done little more than work out indoors.

The weather has improved this week, thank goodness. But for at least the next two weeks, lots of baseball and softball teams will play games every day in an attempt to make up for what this lousy weather has wrought. Golfers will be lucky to find dry courses.

In northern Minnesota, which has been blanketed by spring snow, high school athletes are hoping their seasons will be in full swing sometime in May.

We're smarter than this.

How long will we keep beating our heads against this wall? Every year, it seems, spring sports teams wait and wait and wait for their seasons to start. In the metro area alone, baseball teams saw 224 games postponed in the past two weeks, as were 168 softball games and 98 track meets ... more than 700 events in all (see chart).

We can fix this.

Staples-Motley girls' and boys' golf coach Glen Hasselberg, who is president of the state golf coaches association, talked about spring weather with the Star Tribune's Jim Paulsen last week.

"I've been coaching golf for 34 years, and the standard [for getting on a course] is plus or minus five days to the 15th of April," Hasselberg said. "That's the benchmark. If we get anything before the 10th of April, it's a bonus."

That is a great argument for change. If good weather before April 10 is a bonus, why is March 10 the date for golf teams, and other teams, to begin practice? Why do we make our spring athletes sit and suffer for a month?

Some might argue that 1) this is the way we've always done it, which is a ridiculous reason; and 2) bad weather affects everybody the same, so nobody has an advantage. Wrong again, because the farther north you go, the longer the winter. (Our new motto: "Minnesota, land of geographic discrimination.")

Let's pull our heads out of the snow. Because this isn't just a weather issue, it's an issue of fairness to spring athletes. I say we let 'em play by making these moves:

Chris Milton
Eden Prairie HS PV Coach


What are everyone's thoughts on this idea?  

At Armstrong we have the ability to practice the vault indoors but I know most schools don't have this ability.  I would be in favor of moving the start of the season back two weeks or even extending the season two more weeks and have the state meet near the end of June.  This would allow us to have more meets with a greater chance of good weather.  Extending the season would allow us to actually develop athletes in season without the worry of preparing for the first meet in 40 degree weather.
Chris Milton
Eden Prairie HS PV Coach


21 days later is an excellent idea
March 31st, the new first day
June 27 and 28 (this year) would be the State meet
--3rd Saturday in June hasn't rained in at least (8) years (and counting)
--we watched that when we chose that weekend for our wedding

I'm IN
Steve White
Flight Deck Athletics, owner
(763) 458-2932


I think it's a great idea.  I don't see why there can't be organized sports even though school's not in session.  I would imagine that many coaches would argue against this since they'd like their summers off.  However, a late enough start date might allow for additional sports/activities to be added to the school year and might provide coaches with additional $ earning opportunities.
Caroline White
U of MN Women's Pole Vault Coach

Directions to FDA, White's home

Flight Deck Athletics, Inc.
5701 Rhode Island Ave N
Crystal MN  55428