Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2001

Rain, rain go away

Bad weather creates little league scheduling woes

June 14, 2001

A week of sunshine has dried out Eudora baseball fields saturated with water, but the Eudora Area Baseball Association now has another problem on its hands: rescheduling cancelled games.

From T-ball teams to the new K-10 Corridor League of 13 and 14-year olds, the rain has caused problem, be it practice or playing games. The most affected is the 9-12 age group. The league has 17 area teams and might have to play two to three games a week to complete the entire schedule.

EABA president Paula Winkler said Eudora would start using weekends for rescheduled games.

"We tried to leave weekends open," Winkler said, "But now we'll have to start playing on Saturdays, Sundays and maybe Fridays to get all the games in."

Eudora has three fields for baseball, with the softball field available if it's absolutely necessary.

The EABA doesn't have tarps to protect the field, so the organization must rely on other means.

"We're at the discretion of the weather," Winkler said. "We just try to get the fields dried out."

The association has tried to make the field playable during the soggy days by using Turface, a mixture used to absorb moisture that Winkler said looks like cat litter.

Winkler said the only drawback is the money it costs to use as much of the substance as the EABA has had to during the wet weather.

The weather forced teams to improvise, as a T-ball game was played at the Eudora High School practice football field. Winkler said that the accommodating school district was an example of everyone working together to get games in.

"The recreation department worked really hard to get the fields ready," Winkler said.

Dave Alvarez, coordinator of the K-10 League, said the wet weather made preparation frustrating.

"The fields took a beating, Alvarez said. "We'd spend an afternoon getting the field ready and then it would rain that night."

Now that rain doesn't appear to be a problem, teams must deal with more games in less time. Winkler said some teams are playing two or three games a week, which is hard on the younger players, especially pitchers.

"There's a rule that pitchers can only pitch a certain number of innings per game," Winkler said about the 9-12 age group. "Teams usually have only two or three pitchers, so this could be a problem."

Although many games have to be rescheduled, Winkler said, league tournaments won't have to be pushed back. Now that days have been sunnier, teams are able to play games, something Winkler said is gratifying to the T-ball players.

"They had these cool uniforms and they couldn't wear them," he said.

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