There’s a master calendar somewhere with a lot of red lines crossed through dates.
Madison-Plains High School director of athletics Matt Mason is accustomed to the headache of rescheduling games due to weather, but he said at least the parents and students at the school don’t have to deal with the hassle of whether or not games or practices will take place now due to school being called off.
This year the Madison-Plains school district has adopted a no-school, no-play policy meaning any time school is canceled for the day there will be no games and no practices for the district’s teams. Mason said this policy has alleviated a lot of stress off his coaches and families.
“Each district has its own policy on days without school,” Mason said. “We went with the no school, no play policy this year and it’s really worked out. As soon as families here there is no school they know that means no practices and no games for our teams.
“We have a unique situation with our district being so large in size, some of our families have to travel a long way just to get to school. So we have to make a decision early about practices and games. Having a set policy in place takes a lot of the strain off of our families.”
The policy is getting a workout here this January as cold weather and snow has forced the rescheduling of a number of games. The Madison-Plains High School boys basketball team was scheduled to play Tuesday, Jan. 16, but school being called off means that game will again need to be moved to another date.
The Ohio Heritage Conference in which Madison-Plains and West Jefferson High School both compete has a reschedule policy that allows for a little bit of flexibility compared to the spring sports which makes a baseball/softball reschedule take place the next day.
With a sport like basketball Mason has tried to avoid rescheduling games on days immediately before or immediately after other scheduled games. But as the cancellations begin to pile up, the prospect of playing on back-to-back nights is steadily increasing.
“We’re running out of options,” Mason said. “We’re going to play on Friday and Saturday this week. Playing on back to back nights isn’t ideal but I foresee a lot more of it if the weather stays the way it has been.”
For the other school districts in the area the decision to not play isn’t based solely on whether school is off or not, London, West Jefferson and Jonathan Alder will still play on occasions if there is no school. London athletic director Jim Wolverton pointed out there are times when weather or roads aren’t good in the morning when school is called off, but by the afternoon or evening things are much better.
“If there’s no school we will allow other things like practice to take place after school hours, so after 2:30 p.m.,” Wolverton said. “We have to make determinations about games around noon, but if the weather and roads are going to be OK. We’ll play.”
So far this winter London has had to reschedule two boys basketball and two girls basketball games along with re-work the wrestling schedule and reschedule some middle school basketball games.
“In our league the ADs get together with the coaches and see what dates work the best for them,” Wolverton said. “In baseball and softball it’s got to be the next day, but in basketball there are a lot of moving parts and a lot more difficult to reschedule. We try to reschedule around our non-league games so we don’t lose any games.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.