It happens in the youth leagues sometimes. Hopefully, not after you’ve driven an hour for a travel game. But, it happens. Weather conditions render a field unplayable despite seemingly nice conditions at game time. We’ve got some soccer fields around here that get closed when it’s at-all wet because the owners don’t want them getting beat up when they’re soft.
It happens in Moosic where they never seem to have their act together. They have turf then they have grass then it won’t drain then the games get switched to Allentown. We’ve seen that. Or, they can’t get the tarp on properly and it gets flooded. We’ve seen that a couple times, I believe.
But it doesn’t happen around here. At least, not until last night. As I arrived at the park for some pre-game hockey festivities–that’s right I was going to visit both stadiums last night on purpose–media reports began to dribble out describing a kerfuffle on the field. The normal prep wasn’t being done and we were cautioned that the game might not start on time. Before long, we were told of the postponement.
The tarps weren’t on for Thursday night’s deluge, I heard. I know it rained hard enough where I live to wake up several members of my family. The first question becomes, “Why didn’t they tarp the field?” It’s a good one. Specifics about the newly installed field aside–we’ll get to that in a minute–I have no idea why someone thought that leaving the field uncovered overnight with even the threat of rain was a good idea. Especially with the knowledge that it is a brand new field.
The new field: I spoke with General Manager Kurt Landes before the season, about the field. He said that the new surface was installed at the behest of the Phillies in order to provide a more consistent surface with the one that the players will play on when they get promoted to Philadelphia. He said that the original surface had become a little softer from organic material deposits over the years, and that with age, it wasn’t draining as well. The new one should provide superior draining. And I admit, it looks gorgeous. There were slight signs of wear on the old one, but this one appears immaculate–at least from the seating areas.
Superior draining? So what gives?
Well apparently the different layers of the dirt area of the infield had not had a chance to bond or “set up” since they were installed. The field had been well-protected during the opening home-stand and hadn’t been subject to the volume of rain yet in it’s life. A ‘curing’ step in it’s life it hadn’t had yet. After which, what it really needed was a nice sunny day with some breezes–but that wasn’t yesterday.
Or, today. So we’ll await the condition of the field today. I would assume they’ll do everything they can to get it ready, despite showers this morning and early afternoon. Cheryl suggests having some helicopters assist with the drying.
I just hope we don’t have to move these games to Scranton… 😉
See you at the park,