Column by Joanie Barry
Barry is a junior radio-television and secondary education double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Midwestern weather has postponed intramural softball season by one week. Midwesterners know that even though spring technically started on March 21, warm weather is not a guarantee. They have spent their entire athletic careers playing sports in cold and nasty weather conditions. For those of you who wonder why Iowans wear shorts in 55-degree weather, you may want to pay attention to this article. Below is a quick guide to playing sports in the Midwest.
Always bring an extra pair of socks
As the last of the snow melts, the grass can get a little swampy. That is the very reason that intramural softball was pushed back a week. The fields were too wet to play on. Eventually, the fields will dry up enough to play on, but odds are, they will still be damp. If intramurals waited for perfect outdoor conditions to start playing outdoor sports, softball season would never happen. We will make sure that the fields are safe to play on, but a little wetness won’t hurt anyone. Playing in wet socks when it is cold outside can be uncomfortable and smelly.
Get the right gear
Cleats are not required to play softball, but they are highly recommended. I can personally vouch playing without them can be tricky and embarrassing. If you are like me and do not have your cleats from high school, check out secondhand sport stores like Play It Again Sports in Clive. Those types of stores usually have cheap, used sports equipment. That might also be a good place to find an old glove.
Keep your eye on the skies
April showers bring May flowers. The Drake Lakes span throughout the whole campus to include the intramural fields. Midwesterners know that as soon as the snow melts, the rain starts to pour. Keeping your eye open for storms and lightning on intramural fields is not only for your comfort but also for your safety. Intramural supervisors have a lightning detector in their bag, but if you spot lighting letting the supervisor know is helpful.
Mixing and matching different types of clothes can be helpful with the changing weather. Shorts and sweatshirts are good for playing in the outfield. Long sweat pants are good when running bases because if you need to slide, you won’t get covered in mud. No matter how you choose to put together an outfit, it is always smart to bring plenty of extra clothes.
Seriously, be ready for anything.
There may be a small, miniscule chance that by playoff season the weather may actually get warm. Bring your sunglasses, suntan lotion and baseball caps for those 70-degree days.
Here is your rule reminder for the week. There is no bunting in intramural softball. However, if you take a full swing, and the ball goes less than a foot outside of the batters box, that is not considered a bunt. I would recommend you do some batting practice before the game, in the future. As always stay safe, and play ball.