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Postponing games a good call

March 4, 2012
The Mining Journal

The snow in Superiorland started mid-morning on Wednesday.

It came down fast, hard and wet. In no time, roads were slushy at best and hard to navigate at worst.

In advance of the storm, schools across the area had been closed. It was just too much of a gamble to transport students and stay open.

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National Weather Service personnel called for 3-5 inches of the white stuff, with an east wind at 20-25 mph - and gusts up to 35 mph - accompanying the snow.

In short, conditions were projected to be nasty.

But what about girls basketball district tournament games scheduled that evening? Should they be held or postponed?

It wasn't as easy a decision as it may seem. Take the Gwinn district, for example.

A pair of games were scheduled Wednesday - Westwood vs. Ishpeming at 6 p.m. and Negaunee vs. Gwinn at 7:30 p.m.

Holding the games as scheduled - with officials and game workers already on tap - would have been easy. But for teams and fans going to the games, travel would have been treacherous.

Imagine getting off of work and trying to make it to Gwinn for the start of the 6 p.m. game. In normal road conditions, it would have been tough enough for Ishpeming and Westwood fans; in Wednesday's weather, it might have been better to stay home.

Moving the games to Thursday would have meant all new logistics, including team transportation, referee assignments, game workers, etc.

Not only that, but the championship game set for 7 p.m. Friday would have meant back-to-back nights of competition for the two first-round winners.

Not the best scenario, but certainly workable.

Gwinn officials no doubt would have liked to have held the games as scheduled. It would have saved a lot of work on their part not having to move everything to Thursday.

They waited until early afternoon to make a decision and, thankfully, it was the right one. The games were pushed back to Thursday.

The weather didn't turn out to be as bad as had been predicted in some areas. It was still bad enough, however.

This whole sequence of events was played out Wednesday at other district sites involving other Superiorland teams, including Marquette (in Traverse City), Superior Central, Munising, L'Anse and Baraga.

All those games were postponed Wednesday except Marquette. Traverse City conditions apparently weren't as bad as in the central Upper Peninsula.

Munising had to push back a scheduled Thursday night Newberry-Munising boys game to Saturday after the girls' district play there was altered by the snowstorm and subsequent postponement.

Give credit to the school officials who made the right calls in postponing their district tournament games. No ball game is worth the safety of the players, coaches, fans and others who attend games.

Maybe Gwinn officials, for instance, should have begun the tourney Monday instead of Wednesday to allow for a "snow day" later in the week to accommodate for any bad weather.

But hindsight is always easy to come by.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is cremsburg@



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