WARRENSBURG-Area high school baseball and softball teams' lineup of sanctioned games will be cut in about half for 2011, as the Adirondack League has cancelled all league games scheduled from March 31 to April 23.
Athletic directors of schools competing in the Adirondack League met last week and decided to postpone the beginning of the Adirondack League matchups to April 25 due to the persistence of snow on many schools' playing fields.
The decision affects Warrensburg High School and North Warren High, as well as their counterparts in Bolton and Lake George. Other schools in the League affected by the decision are Hadley-Luzerne, Corinth, Fort Edward, Hartford, Whitehall, Argyle, Fort Ann and Salem.
The three-week delay in league play and cancellation of about half the season schedule is a relatively rare one in recent history, Adirondack League President Andrew Cook said Monday. Cook serves as principal of Hartford High School.
"We're having difficult weather and 95 percent of our league's athletic directors said their fields weren't yet playable," he said. "We had to reconfigure the schedule so league games would start on April 25 after spring break."
The decision means schools will be playing other teams in the league once rather than twice as initially scheduled. The lineup of 16 or so softball and baseball games traditionally held during the spring season has now been reduced to seven or eight. League officials had considered re-scheduling early games at the end of the season, but doing so presented insurmountable conflicts in school calendars, Cook said.
Individual schools in the league are free to hold scrimmages or non-league games in place of the league games, he said.
Warrensburg Athletic Director Steve Nolan said forecasts of unfavorable weather appeared to crimp such opportunities for play time before spring break.
"At this time, we have no games scheduled for next week," he said Monday.
While North Warren High School and Lake George High have competed in tennis matches held on campuses of schools in warmer neighboring counties, the Warrensburg High School tennis team has not been competing because their schedule called for matches on their home court at Echo Lake Camp, which is still unplayable due to accumulated snow and wet, cold weather, Nolan said.
Monday, April 4, Warrensburg Varsity Baseball Team members were chopping through snow piles several feet deep on a playing field behind the local elementary school in an effort to maximize game opportunities.
Digging down to the ground and spreading out the snow allows the sun to melt the built-up snow and ice faster, making the fields playable sooner, Varsity Baseball coach Rex Reynolds said. As of Friday, April 1, there were 19 inches of snow atop an inch of ice on the Varsity Baseball field behind the high school, he said.
While the snow persists on the play fields in Warrensburg, the high school baseball and softball teams have been practicing in the school district's two gymnasiums, tossing balls back and forth and swinging bats in batting cages.
In Chestertown, high school athletic fields were covered with 18 inches of snow and ice, North Warren Central Athletic Director Jason Humiston reported.
He said his school's Varsity athletes were outside daily practicing in the student parking lot, which is big enough to set up a full infield.
North Warren's softball and baseball teams scrimmaged Granville on Thursday, March 31, and they will be competing in non-sanctioned games against Hartford on Thursday, April 14.
Nolan said that he and other athletic officials were hoping the cold wet weather would relent and allow interscholastic competition to begin.
"Hopefully, it will stay warm at night," he said. "That's what gets rid of snow."