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Started by Chris, April 15, 2008, 05:40:36 PM
quote:http://www.startribune.com/sports/preps/17692564.htmlLet'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 TribuneLast update: April 15, 2008 - 8:45 AMThe 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: