J.R. Tidwell/FCT Snow fell for the vast majority of a baseball game played between the Red Bay Tigers and Phil Campbell Bobcats earlier this season.
J.R. Tidwell/FCT
Snow fell for the vast majority of a baseball game played between the Red Bay Tigers and Phil Campbell Bobcats earlier this season.

Archived Story

Outdoor sports mean ‘weather permitting’

Published 5:59am Saturday, April 6, 2013

Football gives way to basketball season during the cold winter months.

That is such a long season compared to some other sports that many people forget it is the only local sport played indoors.

It may get cold and rainy during football season, but the teams can play through most of it due to the nature of the games.

These things do not affect basketball because of the temperature-controlled gyms.

When baseball and softball season rolls around, however, this is a different story.

These sports are not only outdoors like football, but inclement weather usually has a larger impact on these sports simply because of how they are played.

“I think it’s something you get used to over time,” Vina head baseball coach Greg Hamilton said. “You understand that you can’t control the weather, but the rhythm is the biggest issue, and getting to play and get your at-bats and pitching in every day and get into some kind of rhythm is important. That’s the biggest difficulty.   “

Baseball and softball are played in the spring because the season generally has the best weather, but this year things have not gone the way coaches across Franklin County would like.

Our county has received so much rain (and snow) over the past two months that many games and play dates have had to be postponed or cancelled altogether.

“It depends on how much rain you get,” Hamilton said. “We try to play the next available date, and sometimes that’s not always possible. Right now in the area format we’re trying to play the next available date if in any way possible, and we try to stay off Wednesdays.”

Baseball and softball season is only about 10 weeks long minus any postseason play, so getting the games in when possible is extremely important.

This season the amount of rain has thrown a big monkey wrench into the plans of local coaches.

“We have an area game against Tharptown that we didn’t get in during the allotted week, so that’s been pushed all of the way to the end of the season,” Hamilton said. “That will give us three area games in one week. I’ve only lost one area game, but I’ve lost six playing dates that were all doubleheaders.

“We have played 15 games right now, and we could have been pushing 30. We’ve lost a week’s worth of the regular season, and it’s impossible to make them all up.”

One thing that is for certain is the number of rainouts this year has been greater than last year and most years.

“This is not par for the course. We have lost games every week this season. Last year we had hardly any rainouts, and this year we’re way above average. Our field is under water right now, but we’re hoping to get to play tomorrow,” Hamilton said.


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