The Weatherman as MVP
Living in northern Michigan, you have to learn to live with variations in the weather, especially if you attend high school sporting events. So far this year we have been lucky with the good weather we experienced in July and August carrying over to September for the start of the fall sports season.
On Friday night, that changed a little bit and reminded me of some of the weather I've encountered in my "careers" of officiating and photographing high school sporting events. On Friday night at the Grayling vs. St. Francis football game there was on again, off again showers for the first three quarters but they were light and it wasn't too cold so it wasn't a problem. Then between the third and fourth quarters lightning was sighted. By rule there has to be 30 consecutive minutes of no lightning before the suspended game can be continued, so there was a 45 minute delay before the teams could continue. A few years ago at Thirlby Field a game faced delays that put the finish time after midnight.
In the early spring or late fall cold is usually a concern and snow is not an uncommon barrier to play. I remember officiating a football game one time in a blizzard in the late 1980's where we had to stop play every so often to clear off the field so we knew where the sidelines were. Since I retired and moved north to Traverse City, I have seen track meets, baseball and softball games, and golf tournaments played with snow still around the fields.
Some sports play through the weather, while others are normally postponed or cancelled. Soccer, football, cross country, track and others will play in the rain (and cold) stopping only for lightning. Golf, softball, and baseball will not because of unsafe field conditions. Normally winter sports, being inside for the most part, are immune somewhat from the weather. However, while the venues offer protection from the elements, the travel conditions and school closures can be obstacles. This past winter, I think, may have been the worst I have ever seen for weather related postponements and cancellations.
Athletes and fans are a hardy bunch and no-one wants to miss an event, but Mother Nature often has the final word.