Rescheduling cancelled games no simple task –
By Mark Carpenter –
It’s the phone call that sends children and teachers into somersaults of joy, but brings yet another frown to the face of anyone who serves as a high school Athletic Director. That phone call announcing yet another snow day, but also meaning the cancellation of all afterschool activities, including the evening’s scheduled basketball contests.
For the kids the call means time to go out and play in the snow and for the teachers, at least most of them, it’s another day to relax before worrying about how to make those days up later. But for the Athletic Director, the snow day call sets off a series of events that usually involves a calendar and a whole bunch of phone calls.
Most fans don’t have any understanding of all of the effort that goes into cancelling and rescheduling a high school sporting event, usually beginning with a call to the other school involved to see if the two schools can find another date to play the game, no easy task this late in the basketball season. That process is further exacerbated by the fact that the Adams County schools have only one gym available for both high school and junior high basketball.
“You really have to first look at gym availability,” North Adams Athletic Director Tony Williams told The Defender. “Only having one gym for both junior high and high school reduces the number of available nights. We have to get pretty creative sometimes in order to get all the games played, doing things such as playing an eighth grade girls game against one school before the seventh and eighth grade games against a different school.”
The next phone call is normally to the officials who were assigned to the game, with the first question being whether or not they are also available on the rescheduled date. If not, then it’s on to another set of phone calls to find officials who are available which means a whole lot more maneuvering.
“Once we find a date and time that works for both schools, finding officials becomes the next challenge,” said Williams. “Luckily, basketball is the sport where we have the most officials in the area. Even so, it can still be a challenge to find crews to work the rescheduled games. Again, this is where we may have to move start times around so that officials can maybe work games at two different places on the same date.”
A new date and officials are the main focus, but only the beginning of the AD’s work. The calendar will need to be adjusted to change practice schedules, gate workers need to be found and those who run concessions must be informed of the new date. If the game is a road contest, a bus driver must be found and on and on it goes.
“We were fortunate that we had a few ‘open’ dates built into our schedule towards the end of the season to allow us to reschedule games,” added Williams. “If weather again becomes a concern in the middle of February, the situation will become much more stressful.”
With over 50 games cancelled in the county since Jan. 12 (at press time), there should be an upcoming wealth of basketball games for hoops enthusiasists. Keep in mind, however, how much work went into making that evening of entertainment possible and perhaps save a “thank you” for the Athletic Director.