Middle Border Conference cuts baseball schedule in half

Mother Nature left the Middle Border Conference athletic directors no choice.
On Thursday it was announced that the MBC athletic directors had decided to only count the second round of conference baseball games toward the MBC standings. The second round of MBC baseball is scheduled to begin next week. Just one MBC game has been played to this point. The athletic directors decided that any games from the first half of the schedule that do get played will count as non-conference games.
This is the second sport where the MBC schedule has been chopped in half. It was decided earlier in the week that the girls soccer schedule would be similarly split, with only the second round games counting toward the conference standings.
It has also been decided that any MBC softball games that aren’t played in the first round of the season will now be played as two five-inning games on the date of the second meeting between the teams involved. Only one game has been played so far, meaning nearly all the softball games will be played as double-headers.
The Dunn-St. Croix Conference has also made alterations to its schedules. The D-SC has a large and small division. In a typical year large teams play each other twice and play small opponents once, all counting toward the conference championship. The conference has eliminated the “crossover” games between small and large divisions. So eight games per each division (everyone plays each other twice), to determine the conference champs. The D-SC softball teams will play all games in two five-inning double-headers.
In talking with coaches and athletic directors who have been in the area for more than 30 years, this is an unprecedented spring. Nobody can remember a winter that has held on this long and that has done this much damage to a spring sports season.
There are many spring teams that are now facing the harsh reality that they may not be able to complete half of their scheduled events. There are a number of teams that have already had double-digit cancellations. This week’s snowstorm means it will likely be a week or more until any grass playing surfaces will be ready for game use.
Time has become as limiting a factor as the weather in how many games will be played this season. The WIAA has had its spring tournament schedules set for nearly a year and it would be practically impossible to push back the starts of any of the sports’ tournaments.
In the case of softball, there is already less than a month left in the regular season. Softball begins tournament play on Thursday, May 16. Track is next, with regionals on May 20. Golf is just behind that on May 21. Baseball begins regional tournament play on May 24 and girls soccer is the final sport to begin its playoffs, on May 30.

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