FARMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Our cold and snowy April means the Minnesota State High School league is shortening up the spring sports season.
WCCO’s Molly Rosenblatt caught up with one high school baseball coach to see how they’re coping with all the game cancellations.
Snowy, slushy and mushy ball fields are forcing the gates closed. It’s simply unfit for play, and with so much of the season already lost, the decision has been made to compact it.
“What we are doing is we are taking advantage of the opportunity with our national federation rules, to allow five inning doubleheaders, mutually agreed on by member schools,” Farmington baseball coach Jon Graff said.
But not every team has to agree. Farmington Tigers Head Baseball Coach Jon Graff is choosing to stick with seven innings, even though they’ve already lost half their season.
“We’re gonna redo our whole schedule. We’re gonna do doubleheaders on Mondays and Thursdays, which would get us our 18 conference games in and it would be great if we could do that,” Graff said.
Graff says aside from the fields being unplayable, it’s not just about safety. It’s also no fun playing in the cold and poor conditions.
The season was supposed to start April 3, and next week has already been canceled. They’ve lost a total of 11 games. He says it’s a bit of a kick in the gut since they have a lot of returning seniors and a strong looking squad.
“Guys that have good experience, kind of at a higher level, so we kind of came into this year thinking this could be a big year for us to take a step, maybe that section championship and I think it’s one of those things that the guys are just itching to get out there because they know we’ve got a good squad,” Graff said.
Now this is not the first time the Minnesota State High School League has made temporary changes like this. Although conditions were not as poor as this year, similar alterations to the season were made back in 2013 and 2014 as well.
MSHSL: Baseball & Softball Spring 2018
Due to the unseasonably cool temperatures, poor field conditions, frozen turf, and supply of officials, the MSHSL Board of Directors’ Executive Committee has taken action to increase the opportunities for member schools to schedule and complete contests in a condensed season. This memo identifies a process to be used for the regular season only for the Spring 2018 baseball and softball season.
Length of Games
The length of a baseball or softball game may be amended as follows:
• By mutual agreement of the schools, two member schools may agree to play two 5 inning games in a doubleheader format, or as currently available, doubleheaders may be played with the first game lasting 7 innings and the second game lasting 5 innings or until a “regulation game” is completed
• Single games must still be played under the NFHS rules requiring 7 inning games or until a “regulation game” is completed.
• Appropriate application of the rules regarding “regulation game” and “suspended game” is required. To review these rules, please see the softball and baseball activity pages in the online Rules and Policy Manual.
Officiating Waiver Process
While every effort should be made to have two registered officials, the following officiating arrangements can be used by following the waiver process*:
• Softball: One registered official is required and two are recommended. Using a single non-registered official requires a waiver*.
• Baseball: Two registered officials are required. Using one registered and one non-registered official or using only one registered official requires a waiver*.
*A waiver may be obtained by sending an email to Jason Nickleby, MSHSL Coordinator of Officials at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the first pitch of the contest. The waiver is in effect upon the submission of the email. Verification of the receipt of the waiver will take place within 24 hours.