Cheap Seats

Take advantage of the good weather…switch baseball and football in the PNW

BLOGGER’S NOTE – I have decided to discontinue the three-part “Little League Lessons” blog posts. The subject matter as well as the blog format make this topic not a good fit for these pages. I apologize for the confusion.

I posed this question on my Facebook page last week whether baseball and football should switch seasons in the Pacific Northwest. I have had this thought in my head since I was 15 after freezing through baseball season in the spring and nearly keeling over from heatstroke during summer pre-season football practice. And I’m convinced…the switch should be made and here’s why:

1. WEATHER – As you know our springs here in Washington/Oregon are filled with rain and clouds and cooler temps unlike our falls which (except for this last one) are usually very nice. To wit – Average temperature in March – May in Vancouver….61 degrees. The average temperature in August – October? 72. Average rainfall in March – May in Vancouver….3.37 inches a month and the average in August – October? 2.01 inches a month. You can’t play baseball in the rain….but you certainly can play football in it.

2. SAFETY – In my ground-breaking analysis I have found that baseball is incredibly challenging (and very unsafe) in the rain. Why? Bats slip out of kids’ hands…kids have a hard time pitching on a muddy mound and traction is a big problem. And, football in August/September is a heatstroke just waiting to happen…especially with all of the new turf fields popping up all over the county and on the east side of the mountains where the temps routinely hit over 100 in late August/early September. And, football is a much better game to play in the rain than baseball is for sure….likewise, baseball is a much better game to play in the heat than football is.

3. COLLEGE RECRUITING – College coaches have so much more time to see players during the offseason. Now, instead of having to rely on tape or word of mouth coaches can actually see kids play football and baseball…and I can tell you first hand a kid is going to perform a lot better on a 75-degree sunny day as opposed to a 50-degree rainy day.

4. PROMOTE INTEREST IN THESE SPORTS – Youth participation in both football and baseball is on the decline. If the switch was made signup time for baseball would be in July/August when the pennant races are really getting going and in football it would be in February…right after the Super Bowl. And my fifth and final reason….

5. FUN – Those who have played baseball know that the game is a lot more fun on a nice, warm day than on a cold, rainy one. And football is so much more fun on a rainy day…there’s a reason why they call it “football weather”. More fun = better games = a lot better experience for everyone.

Still skeptical? I know, there are a couple of issues with the switching of the seasons. One is the daylight issue….we generally roll the clocks back around the end of October so it gets dark real, real quick. And the other issue is the sports will be off kilter from the rest of the country and getting a kid to play a sport when the big boys aren’t playing it during that time frame can be a tough sell. And don’t give me the “inertia” argument which is perhaps the worst argument ever…it shouldn’t be changed because it’s always been done that way.

But my final point is this – I am willing to bet you that because the games would be much safter, injuries, especially concussions, would drop. Both sports are very involved in concussion research and prevention and when the conditions are better athletes are able to move better therefore injuries will drop.

So let’s review…switching the sports would allow more games/practices to take place for both sports, more fans would come out and watch, both sports would be safer and more fun and might even rise in numbers. From where I sit in the cheap seats it’s worth a shot to swap these…your thoughts???

Paul Williams

I am a sports nut who has tried to make the transition from athlete to athletic....err....supporter of my two children and their athletic endeavours. I am also a former sports reporter for The Arlington Times, Marysville Globe, The Skagit Argus and The Coeur d'Alene Press. Follow me on Facebook or on Twitter (@PDub4170).