Mother Nature Wreaks Havoc for Sports


We all hear the announcement. It comes right before the end of a grueling seven hours of school. It comes on days where rain, snow, sleet, hail, or any other form of precipitation has pounded the outside all afternoon.

“Attention students…due to inclement weather (some sport) has been cancelled. Student-athletes in (some sport) should report to (some dry location) for practice instead.”

The athletes are excited to get an “easy day” so to speak, but the weather changing their schedule can monumentally affect the team in the long run. Moreover, if a team does not receive the “luxury” of a cancellation in bad weather, the conditions may affect that team in different ways. Problems due to rain are common in lacrosse, where Rotary Field’s swampy condition after rain can become a nuisance. “Some girls will fall or twist their ankles on a rainy field,” says junior lacrosse player, Kate Thornburg. “Usually we won’t get cancelled just because of rain, but the rain can really tear the field up.”

Weather-induced injuries are to be expected in a sport like lacrosse, where hard running and physical play are constant, but what about the physical effects on players in other sports that are well-known for weather issues, such as baseball?

“The rain screws up the schedule and can change the pitching rotation,” says junior baseball player Josh Shoemaker. “Pitchers sometimes don’t get the rest they need to make a full recovery from other games.”

Of course the physical issues aren’t the only problems that bad weather can cause for lacrosse and baseball.

“When it does rain and we are inside the gym we just run and do other fitness training,” said Thornburg. “We would probably be a little better at the end of a season without rain. We have a large team, so we need a big area to practice in, but we can’t get that in the gym.” By the end of a lacrosse or baseball season, the number of practices lost to rain can add up, restricting the team below its full potential.

“By the end of the year it messes us up a lot,” Shoemaker said. “We don’t get to work on game situations or fielding to be prepared for games when we’re inside.”

That being said, some athletes could view the chaotic schedule changes due to weather as a positive thing. Certain baseball fanatics would love the thought of playing double-headers to make up for lost time. But even then, cancellations may mean weeks without baseball, frustrating even the most patient baseball player. As spring sports teams in Latrobe begin their seasons, you can bet that all parties will be on the lookout for the “April showers” that make this sports season particularly unique. All of these teams will try to defeat Mother Nature (and their opponents) by reducing the effect of bad weather as much as possible to help them stay at the top of their game.