In theory, the spring sports season should be off to a robust start.
In reality, it’s trickling along. Literally.
Anyone who has stepped outside the past two weeks has experienced one or more of the following: Rain, wind and cold.
Mother Nature has delivered all three in abundance. Occasionally at the same time.
Consequently, postponements and cancellations have become daily routines for Johnson County high schools — to the frenetic point where some events won’t be made up.
Time, or lack thereof, is one of many logistical reasons why.
“The schedules always look good in January when events are efficiently spread out,” Center Grove athletics director Jon Zwitt said. “The challenging part for everyone is the make-up process, just to see those finely tuned schedules get jammed up toward the end of the season.”
To date, only a fraction of regularly scheduled varsity events have been played in a spring season that is going on three weeks old.
Edinburgh, for example, already has canceled nine varsity events on the season, and some likely won’t be made up. Franklin has scrubbed eight events. Some will be made up, but some won’t.
“We are going to work hard to try and make all of these up,” Franklin athletics director John Regas said. “But that will depend on several factors, including future weather forecasts.”
On the latter front, the forecast for the remainder of the week is promising: lots of sunshine and steadily rising temperatures.
But at most local schools, irreparable scheduling damage already has been done.
Rescheduling one, two or even three events is one thing. Rescheduling by the handful is another, even with perfect weather.
That’s because the spring season is compact and fluid. Lining up makeup dates with multiple opponents is a major hurdle.
So is hiring umpires and track and field officials, whose services are in especially high demand in the make-up scramble.
“Baseball and softball are hard to reschedule because conference games must be played first, and schedules are pretty full,” Whiteland athletics director Ken Sears said. “Umpires become an issue, as well, because everyone tries to squeeze in games, and there are not enough umpires.
“Track meets typically do not get made up. Hopefully, the forecast for this week helps get everybody back on track.”
That’s clearly the hope at Indian Creek, where the boys golf, girls tennis and boys and girls track teams have yet to compete this spring. The softball team has played twice. The baseball team has played once.
“That just means we are going to hit a point in the season when these teams are playing three or four games or matches in a row during the week so that we can get all the games in, at least conference-wise,” Indian Creek athletics director Justin Ray said. “There are going to be some games we just throw out the window because there’s no room in either team’s schedule.”
At Center Grove, weather has caused eight cancellations. Although Zwitt is optimistic some can be made up, at least three won’t be.
The events that won’t be made up are tournaments, one each for baseball (Trojan Classic), boys golf (Hall of Fame Tournament) and boys and girls track (Columbus North Invitational).
“Spring is is absolutely unpredictable in central Indiana, but we’ve learned to roll with it,” Zwitt said. “Fields will dry, temps will bump back up and teams will start playing again on a consistent basis.”