Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Players and Coaches Deal With Unexpected Day Off After Rainout

Photo courtesy of Little League Baseball®
By Nick Richardson
South Williamsport, PA - There’s nothing quite like taking in a Little League Baseball® World Series game at Lamade or Volunteer Stadiums on a warm, sunny day. However, Little League’s “Field of Dreams” is not without it damps days. Such was the case on Sunday in Williamsport, when the day’s entire slate of games was cancelled due to rain.

The teams who were scheduled to play Sunday, were all keyed up but had no games to play. Left restless and impatient with the unexpected day off, there was also a rare opportunity to relax after grinding out countless practices and games over the past several weeks. Canada Manager Vito Bordignon saw a mix of both amongst his squad.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t get to play, just because you’re anxious to get out there,” said Mr. Bordignon. “The message to the kids was to try to stay focused, but they also got a chance to spend some time with their families.”

Players and coaches alike spent the day “off campus.” Many took advantage of the break they got from the exciting, yet hectic schedule by enjoying a nice meal and quality time with friends and family. As far as how the “rain day” impacted Canada’s game plan moving forward, Mr. Bordignon doesn’t see any reason to change things up.

“Really the only thing it’s affecting is the pitching,” Mr. Bordignon said with regards to Little League’s pitch counts and the extra day of rest provided to those players who have already pitched. “Otherwise our approach is going to stay the same.”

Manager Les Stockdale’s Australia squad also had their game on Sunday rained out, and they too were disappointed not to be able to play.

“It’s a little frustrating. The boys were starting to get a bit of cabin fever, so it was good that they could stretch their legs,” said Mr. Stockdale. “They got to spend time with their families and relax. It’s all about staying relaxed.”

The 10-day, 32-game Little League Baseball World Series Tournament has a built-in “dark day” where no games are played. With a tournament of this length, the late-summer weather in central Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley is bound to impact the game schedule. The Little League International Tournament Committee efforts to keep the games on schedule without having to use the off-day, which commonly falls on the Friday before the Championship weekend.

All the teams who got the day off were back in action on Monday, with Northwest winning the first Consolation Game of the World Series, whileLatin America, Mid-Atlantic, Asia-Pacific, and Great Lakes advanced in the tournament.