Tuesday, April 17, 2018

COMMENTARY: This is the worst spring sports weather I can remember

My affiliation with high school sports began in February 2008 when I transferred to the sports department of the Torrington Register Citizen from news.
I have been involved with spring sports every year since, with the exception of 2015, when I switched to a copy desk job at another paper.
I have never seen a spring like this.
I can't begin to imagine the frustration that has gripped the players, coaches, athletic directors and parents of our area high school teams. It seems like it has rained, snowed or sleeted every other day or every three days since the regular season began on March 31. I really hope we don't reach a crisis mode at some point this spring, but that will happen unless we get a change in the weather pattern.
Not only has the weather been tough, it's been mostly cold or below average. When teams have played, the temperatures have been miserable. Even a 50-degree afternoon feels cold when the sun disppears into the clouds and the wind picks up out of nowhere.
Yes, we live in New England. It takes a while to warm up around here. It just seems like this particular spring has been the worst of them all.
Teams will be looking at four-game weeks, which in baseball is very taxing on a pitching staff. Lack of practice means missed opportunities to work on the fundamentals, and that often rears its ugly head at key points in games.
Teams are battling each other for time in the gym, and let's face facts, you can't really practice spring sports indoors. The room is too limited, and the surfaces are unrealistic.
As a high school sports enthusiast and a sports clerk at the Waterbury Republican-American, I believe this spring has absolutely sucked. Work schedules change with the weather, but what doesn't change is events getting postponed.
When it comes to baseball and softball, my advice is to use our best fields as much as possible. For baseball, that's Municipal Stadium in Waterbury and Muzzy Field in Bristol. With softball, the destination is the synthetic turf of Joan Joyce Field in Waterbury. The logisitcs -- multiple teams, city public works overtime issues -- could be a problem, but we may need to take that problem head-on soon.
My hope this spring break is to get out to as many games as is reasonable. I love the early games because I can get out to what I can without a major time crunch. My wishes will depend on whether the weather becomes more cooperative. As of right now, I'm not very optimistic.

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