Winter Weather Wreaks Havoc on Athletic Schedules

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Winter Weather Wreaks Havoc on Athletic Schedules

Written by Jenn Glazebrook, Adeline Furlow and contributing reporter, Faith Ralston

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About 30 to 39 total inches of snow fell in Loudoun County in 2015. For some, snow just means getting out of school, while for winter athletes and coaches, it means less time for practice and more time trying to reschedule the games and practices missed.

Due to all of Woodgrove’s winter sports being indoors, the main gym and auxiliary gym have to be shared among many different teams. Boys and girls basketball, gymnastics, and winter cheer share the gyms, while swimming and wrestling practice in different locations. The coaches and athletic staff have to coordinate when rescheduling games, practices, and meets, which can be difficult with so many different activities. Woodgrove is also restricted by
county-wide regulations for inclement weather and
sports.

Last year, around 14 days of school were missed for Loudoun County students. Woodgrove boys and girls basketball teams had five cancelled games, while the wrestling team missed four events, and the gymnastics and swim teams each missed one meet.

According to the Loudoun County Public Schools’ policy, “all athletic events, practices, and conditioning” get cancelled if school is closed due to inclement weather. Some counties that compete against Loudoun Schools can practice on days when school is cancelled while our teams cannot.

If LCPS shuts down transportation, then all athletics are shut down due to liability issues in traveling.

“Other counties around us are allowed to practice with the cancellation of school, but Loudoun County schools cannot. It has affected my girls in games because if we haven’t been able to practice recently, it’s possible that the team we’re competing against has,” says girls varsity basketball coach Mr. Kevin
Copley.

Woodgrove is in Conference 21 West which includes Loudoun County, Frederick County, Winchester City, and Rockingham County. Woodgrove is in a large conference that covers a vast landscape where weather can widely differ from county to county. This leads to much more coordination and effort between school systems when rescheduling games and events. The athletic directors have to monitor the weather for the entire conference area
because even if Loudoun is not experiencing inclement weather, the opposing team’s county may be.

Adding to an already complicated scheduling situation, conference games that count for tournament seeding have priority over games that are not in the Conference 21 West. “It’s like a domino effect with sports,” says Athletic

“It’s like a domino effect with sports,” says Athletic Director Mr. Rusty Lowery. “Once one event gets postponed or cancelled, it’s hard to keep the rest of the season on track.”

Coaches and athletic directors aren’t the only ones who are affected by winter weather. Athletes also stress over the effects of missing practices and the ever-changing schedule.

Junior Owen Fuller, a boys varsity basketball player for Woodgrove, described how when his team had not had a consistent practice schedule, it was reflected in their performance at games.

“The snowfall constricts our team’s fluidity,” said Fuller.

Sophomore Dani Kimbrough, who is on the varsity gymnastics team, said, “Right before a meet we need the practice to clean up routines. Meets can be made up though, so I definitely think it affects practices more.”

Despite all the changes and the unpredictable weather during the winter season, Lowery says that the athletic staff is prepared for any possible winter scenario.

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