Did it only rain on your team? If not, why are you whining?
HS softball is played in the spring, so there will always be rain. I've watched many, many games in the pouring rain. (By the way, your pitcher needs to know when to change from the two finger grip to the three finger grip.)
During the HS championship tournament at the end of the year, games are played on a tight schedule. The date for the state championship is set in stone. So, games have to be played rain or shine. It isn't unusual.
Denny Throneburg, a very successful HS coach in Illinois and a winner of the National High School Softball Coach of the Year award in 1999, wouldn't call off practice because of the rain. He wanted his kids would know how to play in the rain. Denny's record: 647-56 record, six state titles, along with three 2nd place finishes, 20 Regional titles, and 15 Sectional championships.
I am in favor of every program that can afford one having a tarp. A tarp allows games to be played when they would otherwise be canceled due to inclement weather. And playing is, after all, what it's all about. Pulling the tarp to play in a downpour doesn't sound very well thought out... not because, as was mentioned, the ability for weather to affect the outcome of the game, but because of the ability for the weather to affect the outcome of one's playing career. If the field is getting destroyed, players are at risk. And that's the part of the scenario above with which I am in disagreement.
Amy: I don't know how it is in Arizona, but in the Midwest it often rains without the chance of thunderstorms. Lightning is a concern sometimes, but not always, when it is pouring.
We are in New England.
Our field is used by our High School, Juniors level, and our Little League teams.
Before the tarp we lost a lot of games. The field just holds water and the puddles are huge.
We had one donated and I think we only had a couple of games cancelled and that was mostly due to a sudden surprise downpour or that the tarp didn't get out on the night before by the team that played night before.
The HS will play in drizzle, LL will generally not go more than inning or two with rain.
Takes 10 minutes with 8 guys to put on.
Taking off is pretty quick unless dealing with water on it...but still uner 30 minutes.
Great thing to have ... think ours was $2500...maybe $3,000
In Oregon, we deal with rain constantly, and most of the schools find it financially expedient to get a tarp on the field, as we find it actually saves trips. Tarp prices have actually come DOWN in the past couple of years--I bought one this year for $1800, my fourth such purchase in 13 years of coaching. More practice days, more games played on schedule. When the field is drier at game time, we can absorb a few showers and still not have too sloppy a surface. IMO, it's changed the game for the better--more games played in better conditions as more programs tarp it up. Not to brag, fivepots, but my 18 girls can put in on from roller to sandbags in 5 min. Full of water, removed and stored in less than 10.
Just to clarify, When I say roller, I just mean the piece of culvert we use to roll the tarp on. Not like we have some really cool mechanical device to take move the thing. . .but now that you mention it. . .
We use about 40 bags of Play Ball a year, in addition, as a drying agent. All told, I suppose I spend an average of about $800/year to keep my field playable--lots of fundraising, as the school picks up exactly none of that total.
I try to teach my children to always know the goal in whatever you are doing, exercise wisdom, and sometimes that will mean a sacrifice for the greater good.
In softball/baseball, the goal is to compete and win under trustworthy leadership who will evaluate safe conditions. Terrible conditions can mean a career ending injury and a team's season altering outcome if you lose a keyplayer. Emotions (immediate gratification) are powerful and therefore can override wisdom (delayed gratification), and there is no one who is exempt from this temptation. Some manage it better than others. This is what separates the coaches from the leaders. The playing conditions are not as important in football, for instance, because football requires less perfectly executed mechanics and players are wearing safety equipment.
I understand the mid-west has more challenges with the weather, I would sound foolish to address what has been tried/could be tried to overcome that challenge...maybe call the people over at FSN Sports Science! I love that show!!!