by Lisa Tome
It's a busy time for Bruce Kline.
Kline, athletic director at Bohemia Manor High School, is working to schedule and reschedule athletic events which have been cancelled, postponed, or delayed due to weather.
Kline explained the steps that have to be taken if an athletic event is cancelled, he has to contact the school system transportation department, officials, and coaches. Announcements have to be made in the school building. The opponents also have to be contacted. He then attempts to reschedule, which can be a challenge.
"You have to find a (new) date that works for you, your opponent, transportation officials and adheres to MPSSAA (league) rules regarding number of games allowed per week," wrote Kline in an email. "Remember, we only have one gym, so you can't reschedule a wrestling match on a day you have a basketball game or vice versa."
Everyone then has to be contacted with the new schedule. Online schedules also have to be adjusted so parents and fans are brought up to speed.
Working the phones can be difficult.
"You try the school number and then the cell number and email until you get who you need. They (other athletic directors) are on the phone doing the same thing you are so they might be working with another school when you are trying to reach them," said Kline.
He also has to keep the post season in mind. Bo Manor lost a tri-meet wrestling match when one of the schools couldn't attend due to weather. "We couldn't schedule another date that would work for all of us. That turned into a dual meet but that causes my wrestlers to lose potentially four regional points needed to qualify for the post-season," said Kline.
Transportation is always an issue. "There are only so many buses available. When you start bunching more and more events into the same time, you run out of buses. The Cecil County Public School Transportation department works miracles at times to find us rides. The five athletic directors and coaches are very accommodating and often share rides with each other. For example, Bohemia Manor's junior varsity softball team might share a bus with Elkton's tennis team going to the same Harford County school," he said.
School being cancelled did not impact the Bo Manor hosted Battle of the Bridge wrestling tournament. "I was very fortunate to have not only transportation but the CCPS leadership team allowed the Battle of the Bridge to be held on January 10-11. We had 22 teams coming from as far away as Newark, N.J., Fredericksburg, Va., Gettysburg, Pa., and everywhere in between. They were all able to make it safely and we had a very successful tournament. Safety of the student/athletes is the primary concern," added Kline.
While Kline is working the phones at Bo Manor, Jim Leitgeb is mirroring his actions at Elkton High.
"If school is closed, you need to find out which games you had scheduled for the day and begin attempting to reschedule," said Leitgeb. Like Kline, he has many people to contact. If games are at Elkton High, he also has to find people to staff at the school.
"It takes sometimes four to five phone calls to cancel and reschedule an event, Depending on how many cancellations have occurred during the season the length of time varies as well," he said.
He said finding officials is also a big challenge. "Transportation can be a challenge on certain days when there are lots of trips leaving the county. The biggest challenge with all these reschedules that people may not see would be scheduling officials. Some days are not available because the associations already have too many games scheduled for a certain day because of all the postponements," added Leitgeb.