Monthly Archive
for: ‘April, 2011’

Some Notes on the Weather

Some of you have been emailing with questions regarding the weather as well as other early season situations we deal with as a league… so I thought I’d throw up a quick post to hopefully answer some questions. I’m also wanting to troubleshoot this Forum on the new season and make sure that all of you who signed up last season to receive notifications of updates are still receiving those notifications.

First off, let’s cover the light situation and the starting time for games… 6 and 7 PM are the game starting times I’ve chosen here at the end of April because I’ve found that a 5:30 starting time can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth in regards to teams that aren’t able to collect a full squad out on the diamonds by that time… that’s not to say that we’ll never have a 5:30 start time… it’s actually necessary going into September because the sun is setting at around 7:30 by that point… but right now, last night, the sun set at 7:47… and it has been the experience that you still get 10-15 minutes of playable light after that time… so as of right now, early games and late games will have the same hour to finish their games…. if you’re playing in the late game and choose to continue on past 8:00, then you’re doing so at your own risk… both in terms of safety as well as preserving the “honest” score of your game. Once no one can see the ball any longer, crazy shit can happen as many of us know… this is a decision made between Captains on the field on a game by game basis… but remember that if you agree to start an inning, that inning MUST be finished (unless the HOME team is winning of course). Play fair… and if you’re losing the game, 8 PM has come and gone and your opposing Captain decides to end the game… don’t hold it against him/her… it’s their right for both safety and score.

Second, let’s cover the field conditions in the light of all the rain we’ve been getting. One of the players on one of our teams works for the Chicago Park District at a location that’s NOT Grant Park… he emailed me the following;

“I just wanted to send a bit of info your way seeing as how the rain has already affected us I figured it would save a lot of bitching later. The park district has instituted some new policies as far as field maintenance. As of this year, any field with standing water that will take 7 to 10 bags of diamond dry is to be deemed unplayable and all games cancelled. While us guys at my yard can do a lot with 10 bags I would brace yourselves for some lazy guys on the lake front to call a game even with little rain. I am working with my foreman to talk to the guys that take care of our fields so we can avoid any unnecessary cancellations, but who knows how that will go.”

After receiving this I sent the following letter to the Park District;

This Thursday is opening day for us and considering the extended forecast I just wanted to check in with you on the state of your ground crew… wondering if they’re geared up yet this early in the season for getting the diamonds ready.

I was sent an email from a player on one of our teams that also works for the Park District at some diamonds further south and he told me that they’ve been directed to cancel games on any diamond that needs more than 10 bags of turfus to make ready… he said this limitation is new this year and I was wondering if Grant Park is under the same directive.

From which I received the following reply;

Hi Nic, we didn’t have any games last week. I spoke to the field crew, (Fran and Jose) this morning. They said things are very wet. I told them to work on Upper whenever they had the chance this week between the raindrops. I have had high school games on upper already this season, so the fields have been dragged etc.

As for the 10,5 bag rule it has been in place for a couple of years. We are a little different then the other locations as we could have 32 games a night cancelled if the fields are not made playable. They work a little bit with me as the volume is greater than other locations. The foreman did say it to me when we met this season and I explained that we do not have many dates available to reschedule to. I bake a lot for the field maintenance yard.

Hope to see you Thursday.

So that’s where we’re at… I have to say for the record that I’ve always felt really well-treated by the Park District. They’ve always worked with us on any issue that comes up and they’ve always been flexible with finding us any diamond time possible to make up game days that have been washed out. On game days with a questionable forecast, we always communicate back and forth as many times as necessary throughout the day. Every effort is always made to keep games on and when games are cancelled, it’s always as a last resort.

The worst situation for me has always been when the rain that washes us out happened prior to game time. It’s hard for everyone, including me, to stomach a cancellation when the sun is out at game time… but that’s how it works out sometimes. The fields need a certain period of time to absorb water that has fallen on them previously. Wind and sun help a lot but are not always enough to get the job done… so keep these things in mind when dealing with a cancelled game day.

As of right now I’d have to say that tomorrow isn’t looking that good… there has just been too much rain and not enough sun to burn any of it off… we may get surprised… and you should definitely have your teams ready to play tomorrow… but my expectations are low.

IMPORTANT > Anything else you’d like to add? Questions you’d like answered? Please post them to the comments section of this post and DO NOT email them to me directly… I’m trying like hell to keep questions and issues regarding the entire league out here in the public forum along with their answers and solutions. You can also post to the league’s Facebook page which can be found here. Thanks all.