Snow plays havoc with sports schedules
By JUDY LIGHT
While everyone agrees that education is of the utmost importance in our children’s lives, it should also be recognized that extra-curricular activities such as band, choir, clubs and sports also play a vital part. The cancellation of school not only interrupts the educational aspect of our students lives, but also their participation in other activities as well.
Not only has the recent inclement winter weather played havoc with local school instructional days, but all the extra-curricular and after school activities as well. Boys and girls basketball schedules, as well as wrestling programs have come to a stand still thanks to the many recent snow days.
Tyler County Policy FF – Emergency School Closings – states “If school is canceled due to inclement weather, all scheduled function for that day, including ball games/scrimmages, will also be canceled . . .” Basically meaning, no school – no games – no scrimmages – no practice.
(The Tyler County Policy FF can be found at the end of this story in it’s enirity.)
The thought here is that if the weather is so bad that school can not be in session, then it is also to bad to play ball. Understandable.
While the policy is structured to protect the safety of the students in cancellation situations, it does not make it easy to be a member, or a coach, of a team affected by the cancellations.
“I understand completely,” said Tyler Consolidated head boys basketball coach, J.C. Kimble. “We’ve had some really bad weather and I still have kids on the team who can’t get out of their driveways, but in the same vein, it’s not making it easy on us by any means.”
Matt Kinnard, Lady Knight head basketball coach agrees. “I think we all agree that the kids safety comes first. But after so many days of missed games and practices, you start worrying about the state of your team.”
And, it seems, everybody watches the weather channel. Talk to any basketball player or coach who has missed games and practices lately, and the majority of them will be able to tell you the forecast for the next few days.
“I think it’s supposed to snow again next week,” Kinnard said. “I hope not, but that’s what the weather guys are calling for.”
And the majority of them will start spouting when and if certain games will be made up and/or rescheduled.
Between the two varsity teams at Consolidated, about eight games have either been postponed or will have to be canceled entirely, and the same holds true for the boys and girls teams at Paden City High School.
Some of the afore mentioned teams have been allowed to have a couple voluntary, semi- practices, as the weather got better throughout the week last week, but County Policy dictates that these practices, if they are allowed to be held at all, can not and must not be mandatory. And none of the coaches have had complete teams at any of their make-shift practices to date.
Education, of course, is the most important issue at hand. Instructional days lost, not enough make-up days available to cover snow days, etc. is also making it difficult for County Boards of Education to meet their own schedules.
“It’s just been awful,” said Tyler County Superintendent of Schools, Jeff Hoover. “This weather has been something else, and I know the teams and coaches are frustrated.”
Hopefully, schools and teams will be able to get back on track this week as the weather situation clears up, and practice and games resume.
“Hey, it is what it is,” said head coach of the Paden City Wildcats. “We are just going to do the best we can with what we have. We’re going to try to finish as strong as we can.”
“My guys are calling me on the phone and chomping at the bit to play again,” Kimble said. “They’re ready to get back out on the court, but there is nothing we can do, but wait.”
West Virginia High School girls basketball Sectionals are scheduled to take place Feb. 22-27,with Regionals to follow. The boys basketball Sectionals will be held March 1-6, again, with Regionals to follow. Though the Knights and Wildcats are not the only teams in the state to be deprived of practice and game time due to the weather, some of the other schools have not had as many cancellations as there as been here in Tyler County, and to be fair, others have had worse weather and more days missed.
The Silver Knight wrestling team, who also suffered from lack of practice find themselves in the same situation, only time has run out for them, their Regional is this weekend. The Knights will make their way to Oak Glen on Friday and Saturday for the Region I Regional in order for team members to attempt to qualify for the state tournament the following weekend.
In some instances, lost time can not be made up.
In the long run everyone involved is biding their time until Spring. By that time, basketball and wrestling seasons will be over, snow days will be behind them and the worries of rain outs of baseball and softball games will begin.
BELOW IS THE EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING POLICY FOR TYLER COUNTY
Tyler County Policy FF
Emergency School Closings
Tyler County Schools shall be open for all scheduled instructional days, except when conditions exist that appear to endanger students. Such conditions may include prevalence of contagious disease, inclement weather, or any other calamitous cause over which the board has no control.
The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall be authorized to make the decision to close schools, under any of the above conditions, if prevailing or potential hazards threaten students’ safety and well-being. Every reasonable effort will be made to inform parents, as early as possible, regarding emergency school closing, through such means as television and radio announcements.
If school is canceled due to inclement weather, all scheduled function for that day, including ball games/scrimmages, will also be canceled, with the following exception:
The appropriate principal will be granted flexibility to ascertain weather conditions prior to the scheduled event. If, after consulting with the transportation director and superintendent, the principal feels that road conditions have improved to the point of ensuring safe travel, the principal may allow the event to take place at the school site.
For out-of-county-trips, the superintendent shall have the authority to approve the trip, pending road conditions. Special consideration will be given for student competitions which cannot be re-scheduled and for an athletic practice scheduled the day before a game.
If the principal permits an athletic practice (scrimmages are games and are canceled) to be held, the coach will encourage parents to use their own judgment about their child’s participation. The coach shall not penalize a student for missing such practice session (s).
Should school be canceled on a Friday, the ensuring Saturday may be used for scheduled or re-scheduled activities, if weather conditions are favorable.
If students are dismissed early due to inclement weather, all scheduled functions for that day shall be automatically canceled.
Students’ safety must be the primary consideration in making decisions about cancellations due to inclement weather.
The total number of instructional days shall be a minimum of 178, in accordance with the provisions of state Code 18A-5-2.
If it becomes necessary to re-schedule ballgames regulated by the Secondary School Activities Commission (SSAC), no more than three (3) games shall be played during any full school week, unless this limitation will result in incompletion of an athletic schedule that would have a bearing on conference titles or SSAC play-offs.