The Rain-Out That Wasn’t Rained OutJan 27th, 2015 | By AndyBandit | Category: Articles, Winter League
Last night Kong and Sky Life were set to play, but rain was in the forecast for later in the day. Naturally I was contacted by captains of both teams asking what the situation was. So for future reference, here’s how that works.
This is a rare situation where there’s no rain throughout the day, and it’s expected to rain later. Historically in these situations with Balboa, they do not cancel games in anticipation of rain. They only cancel when the field gets too wet. Therefore, it’s a risk for the two teams on whether or not they want to take the chance that the game will get cancelled either right before game-time or sometime during the game.
Last night I learned that Granada Hills operates similarly. I checked in with them at 5PM before it started raining to see what the situation was. They won’t call me to tell me games are cancelled. Which means I have to keep checking in with them if it starts to rain. Last night it didn’t start raining until around 5:15ish in certain places. But obviously I’m not gonna keep calling them every 20 minutes asking if games are still on. Because in the Balboa days, that meant the guy in the office finding someone to go out and inspect the field for puddles. That takes awhile to happen. And puddles don’t build up until it’s raining for quite some time. So calling every 20 minutes will be completely useless, and will only annoy the fields, and that’s how we almost lost Balboa several years ago. So I told Kong/Sky Life that I would check in again at 7PM. That should give the rain enough time to create puddles if it rained that much. But that didn’t happen because after about 20-30 minutes of downpour Sky Life and Kong decided it was unlikely the games would be on and they cancelled their game at around 5:45.
In a perfect world, someone at the fields will go out and inspect the fields every few minutes and call us the moment they determine the fields are unplayable. I am here to tell you that situation will never ever happen. And in fact, when I spoke to the woman at Granada Hills, the mere concept of “it’s not raining now, but it may rain later” seemed completely foreign to her. She really just wanted to get me off the phone, and that was incredibly apparent by how quickly she hung up on me when I finally agreed to call back later.
Making matters worse, the Granada Hills office said they don’t make the decision on whether or not the fields are unplayable. Valley Municipal Sports makes that call. Let me walk you down my history with Balboa on that. Balboa used to say the same crap. But when you call Valley Muni Sports, they say – understandably – that they’re not at the fields, so how can they make that call? Only the fields can make that call. So you call back Balboa and tell them that’s what V.M.S. said, and they claim ignorance of logic, and go back to their standard line that they don’t make the decision, V.M.S. does. This is a vicious loop of bureaucracy that has made me pull my hair out more than once. I’m sure you’ve noticed I don’t have much hair on top. This is one of the reasons. Ultimately, I convinced Balboa to make the decision themselves through some serious debate, and I figure I will end up doing the same thing with Granada Hills if it comes to that in the future.
Last night, two hours after Kong and Sky Life agreed to cancel their game, I called the field at around 7:45, right before what would’ve been game time and unfortunately they said the fields were still playable. To the best of my knowledge it didn’t rain in the area much the rest of the evening (until maybe late at night). So in the end, the game could’ve been played, but I totally understand Sky Life and Kong’s decision not to take the chance. Granada Hills is quite a distance for some people to travel, so it makes sense. The only downside to this is that because the games weren’t cancelled by the field, we don’t get reimbursed. Normally we get reimbursed for rain-outs, and that money is provided as a field credit for Summer League.
On the good side, with Dynamic Scheduling it’s easier to make-up a rain out because I can just put it on the schedule in one of the later weeks. So the Kong / Sky Life game will still get played, and in better conditions.
So there you go. That’s what happens when it’s not raining during the day, and the forecast says rain later in the day. Note that in cases where it’s raining during the day or it rained the day before, those situations are a lot easier for the fields to make the call in advance. And they’ll usually make the call by 5PM that day. So if it rained all day yesterday, and it’s sunny today, just be patient and wait until 5PM, cause that’s when they’ll make the official decision.
Thank you for reading my ramblings.