Spring sports teams struggle with cold, conference schedules - KMSP-TV

Spring sports teams struggle with cold, conference schedules

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The rules for high school sports are pretty specific, but since there's still snow on the ground and a possibility of more on the way, it seems like there could be a little wiggle room in the way they are played.

It's pretty common for coaches to give players a little last-minute advice, but it's a rare thing to see a baseball coach warn players about the impact of the snow on the field.

"We have a lot of stuff going on here with the snow," explained Activities Coordinator Paul Twenge, of Minnetonka High School. "If the ball penetrates the snow, do not go in after it."

Despite shoveling the field to finally get in their first game of the season, Minnetonka still had to tweak the rules of play.

"If the ball penetrates the snow, we'll kill it," Twenge decided.

On Monday, the Minnesota State High School League sent out a letter acknowledging that winter has won and many spring sports will feel the impact, from lacrosse to softball and track.

"All of our meets have been canceled because of the snow on the tracks," Emma Ische, of Waconia High School, told FOX 9 News. "We have to practice indoors."

While the Skippers are lucky enough to have artificial turf to trot on, it could be weeks before teams are able to play on green grass.

Even so, league leaders say moving state tournament dates isn't an option, but everything else is on the table. Teams are being encouraged to forget about home-field advantage as long as they can play on a field that is ready.

The weather has been so uncooperative that many baseball teams have already postponed or rescheduled several games, even opting for double-headers to make up for lost time.

"If we go one more week of bad weather, then I think you will see some real tough situations," Twenge admitted.

For many, the mindset seems to be: Try to get in as many games as possible while making sure playing conditions are safe. That could mean a double-header softball game with fewer innings or two nine-hole golf matches against different teams instead of 18-hole rounds.

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