Struck Out By Severe Weather: FW Little League Behind 500+ Games

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

June 1, 2011 Updated Jun 1, 2011 at 10:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) -- Little League weather woes have league officials scheduling 500+ make up games over the next three weeks.

"What's really been hard is for us, some of the fields, even at this point right now, are still underwater. They still have water damage. They're not able to be played on at all so we've been shifting around a little bit," said Saint Joe Little League Executive Board Member Byron Peters.

Meanwhile, Fort Wayne Little League Regional Executive George Glick calculated that at least 500 games have been postponed, due to rain and severe weather.

League officials told Indiana's NewsCenter most teams have missed an average of five games.

At this point, those games will need to be made up in the next three weeks, before the regular season ends.

However, making up those games will not be easy because leagues are still playing previously scheduled games.

Normally, Little League games are played on weeknights.

But in respect for the school year, leagues like the Saint Joe Little League are turning to Saturdays and Sundays for make up days.

Meanwhile, Saint Joe Little League President Scott Robinson told Indiana's NewsCenter that if another week of wet weather hits the Fort Wayne area, board members will probably vote to cancel some games.

Indiana's NewsCenter was curious to what precautions are being made to protect young players from burning out, while making up games.

League officials told us that pitchers are kept on a strict pitch count, which follows the Little League International organization guidelines.

For example, if a pitcher pitches 66 or more pitches in one day, that player can not pitch again until they have rested for 4 consecutive days.

Parents told Indiana's NewsCenter that during the school year, make up games can be a grind, because the games can last until 9 or 10 p.m.

But parents also told Indiana's NewsCenter their children are always disappointed when games are rained out.

"I would like to think that kids just can't get burnt-out. They seem to have so much energy," said Little League Parent Craig Johnson.

"I know when I was young, I could run all day. I would think that it would probably give them a lot of time to exert some energy and get some of that out. So that we can get them to rest and be calm at home," continued Johnson.

Leagues have also lost sales at concession stands.

Meanwhile, rain outs will not affect players changes as they try to qualify for the Little League World Series.

In July, a new season begins, in which All-Star Teams will take a swing at tournament play, including qualifying for the Little League World Series.

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