When the weather gets rough, are you still on the field

Hallie Hocker, Sports Editor

Hallie Hocker, Sports Editor

Hallie Hocker

The thunder rolls, and the lightning strikes – what does it take to call off a sporting event?

Now that athletics have moved back outside, I’ve noticed that Joplin weather is very unpredictable, making it hard for athletes to find a norm for practice.

After talking to some distance runners, I realized spring is gorgeous, but it can be rough on the body when the weather switches from sultry to shivering in less than 24 hours.

Of course, I have had my share of glorious rainy, muddy soccer games where you eat mud every time someone near you kicks the ball.

Oddly enough, they’d call off a game if it rained the night before because they didn’t want the field torn up, but they wouldn’t call it if even the most devout parents had to leave to their cars because it was raining so hard we could hardly see the ball 30 feet away.

It was always debatable as to whether or not lightning was actually spotted. Thunder never did anyone harm.

Everyone who has ever played any outdoor sport more than likely knows what it’s like to play in freezing, pouring down rain. (Scoring a goal when I couldn’t feel my feet had to be one of the weirdest feelings in the world.)

However, the most absurd circumstance I can remember playing in happened during softball season my freshman year in high school.

Before we even began our hour and 10 minute ride to our game, tornado warnings and heavy storm damage was coming our way. We warmed up under churning, chameleon clouds. My sisters’ game closer to home was canceled.

However, they didn’t call our game off. Even when the sky started turning colors, the winds changed and alternating warm and cold shots of air would swoop down on us while we were in the dug out, they didn’t stop the game.

We were wondering if we’d have to be in a microburst first.

Well, they finally called the game when bullets made a lake out of the infield in a matter of minutes. I thought we were going to have to dodge tornadoes to get back home, traveling an hour into the storms to get back home.

What a waste of time and adrenaline.

Praise Jesus there are indoor facilities for some sports so they don’t have to wait the lightning out.