VIDEO: Rainouts Pile Up for Windsor Sports Teams

Rainouts are becoming the norm for many athletic teams across Windsor-Essex this spring.

The city opened baseball diamonds on May 6 and the remainder of its rectangular fields for sports like soccer on May 11.

In total all 130 fields have been shut down due to poor conditions nine times, that's in addition to 11 partial closures in different areas of the city, according to Co-ordinator of Community Sports Services Trese MacNeil.

She says the officials will do everything they can to make things work this summer.

"They [teams] have been extremely patient and I think anybody that's tried to mow their back lawn understands that this has not been an ideal spring," added MacNiel.

With little time in between to dry-up, the conditions have several organizations like Riverside Minor Baseball Association planning for the worst.

Just over 420 kids are playing in house league and travel programs this summer and they've only managed to get 25 per cent of their games in, according to Travel Convenor Tom Laporte.

As the rainouts pile up, Laporte says it becomes harder and harder to make sure kids will get their games in this summer.

"Unfortunately a lot of the house league parents, they go away on weekends ... so for our house league program we will try to reschedule them on the weekends but it's highly unlikely that they'll get them all in, that's for sure," says Laporte who goes on to says Windsor's not the only city having issues. "Our Bantam Major team was in Kitchener last weekend at a 24-team tournament with all the top teams in Ontario and they got one game in, that was it."

MacNiel says safety is the first concern when the ground is too wet to play, but there are also long-term concerns if someone decides to play through.

"Everybody is in the same boat and there's no pun intended by that. If there's damage done to the fields we could in fact put those fields out of commission for the remainder of the season," she says. "It might impact their play currently, but we don't want it to impact their entire season." 

She isn't sure if it's record breaking, but sports field closures are definitely higher than normal so far this year.

One option to get games in is stretching out the schedule and shifting games to different fields, but MacNiel says the city still needs to be careful.

"Doing the over seeding and the top dressing, that sort of thing that has to be done at the end of play. We don't want to go so far into the season when we would normally be closed where maintenance is going to be impacted for the following year," she says.

Both MacNiel and Laporte are hopeful the weather will turn around, but long-term forecasts aren't in their favour.

Windsor-Essex is in the midst of a flood watch until mid-June.