Opinion: Could summer sports be the answer?
A week of rain and the beginnings of immense snow melt have already created troublesome flooding that is bound to get worse over the next few weeks. At the same time, some spring sports have already started with the rest coming this week or next. Just like last year, we are potentially looking at a delayed spring sports season as fields dry out. And that will create a hectic and stressful April and May.
As the delay of the spring sports season becomes more and more common, with the potential of increased precipitation and later winters due to climate change, is it time to move back the spring season or create a summer one?
Last year saw baseball and softball teams playing five or six games a week, with as many doubleheaders as they could fit in with little time to practice. Tennis teams had their seasons compacted into a single month, minus a few indoor matches, and golf teams pretty much had to scrap their entire schedules and adjust on the fly.
Perhaps the only teams to have a semi-normal season were the lacrosse teams, thanks in large part to the prevalence of artificial turf.
So much competition with hardly any time to recover is not healthy for high school athletes and, one could argue, totally against the spirit of high school sports.
Spring sports already extend into the summer, so why not move them back another month and/or create a summer season? Let the golf and tennis seasons start in April and compete through June or into July to take advantage of the weather. Allow the baseball, softball and lacrosse fields to dry out and actually be in game-shape with a later start that can be played through July.
Many kids are already playing travel ball in just about every sport during their summer break as it is, so it would not be that big of an adjustment. There are obviously logistics to be considered and this is just a surface deep examination, but gone are the days where summers were just for kids to be kids. Many of them are busier during the summer as they are during the school year.
It's something to think about as I doubt the last few years have been an aberration, and a reminder that spring sports in 2018 really did not get started until the end of April due to the late snowfall.