Rain, rain, go away. Youth sports want to play.
Kimberly Jordan firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Local farmers may enjoy the amount of rain that has fallen throughout Wilson County the last few weeks, but several groups out there are wishing for a little more sunshine.
The various cities’ youth recreation leagues are battling the deluge for several weeks, and scheduling has turned into a small nightmare in some cases because rescheduled games are also rained out.
Across Wilson County, rainfall totals since March are somewhat higher than normal. According to the National Weather Service, Lebanon recorded 5.6 inches of rain in March, 9.09 inches in April and 3.21 inches so far in May, and that amount doesn’t include Friday’s rainfall.
Compared to normal amounts, it’s more than 1 inch above the average for March and more than double that for April.
“That’s a lot of rain for three months,” said NWS meteorologist Trevor Boucher. “It’s a lot more moist for rainfall totals. Certainly we’ve had a lot more rain, but not a lot of severe weather, which is pretty anomalous for this time of year.”
Wayne Oakley, who serves on the board of the Lebanon Girls Softball Association, said several games were rained out this season, but "so far we are only six games behind. We have 27 games planned [Saturday] for our big fundraiser day that we are hoping to get in."
LGSA serves 326 players on 29 teams. Oakley said only about a quarter of the games this season have actually been played on the scheduled day.
"We did some things with the schedule to allow more rainout days this year, or we'd be in a lot worse shape. Right now we are about a full day's worth of games behind," he said.
He praised the Lebanon recreation department for doing everything it could to help keep the games on schedule.
In Watertown, there is quite a different story with the little league.
Shaw Grantham, who is in charge of the league, said as of Friday, it was between 20 and 25 games behind due to the weather. The league plays on two fields, with one designated for the "Tiny Tots" ages 6 and under.
"It's rough," Grantham said. "I had games planned to make up all day [today] that may get canceled now.
The league has anywhere from 275-300 children in 19 teams. Grantham said it "affects a lot of people when you have to reschedule that many games."
He said an option would be to do away with some of the games if need be.
Regardless of the method, local youth sports leagues are doing whatever they can to complete their seasons as close to on schedule as possible.
Not just action on the diamonds, but the rain has affected soccer play, as well. Wilson United Soccer vice president Billy York said it’s been a tough spring to get games in for 470 children on about 50 teams.
“Actually we’ve only played two full weekends this spring,” York said. “This weekend was supposed to be our last weekend, but that’s probably going to be pushed to the first weekend in June. We will have to play later.
“It’s affected just about every weekend. We’ve had to play a lot of our makeup games during the week.”
But York said it’s not as bad as he’s seen in the past.
“This is my sixth year,” York said. “We’ve had one other one about three years that was worse than this one.”