116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES - They waited to play baseball Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park. And they waited for it to rain.
Linn-Mar and Johnston warmed up to play their Class 4A state tournament quarterfinal. The teams took infield and outfield and everything.
But the tarp suddenly got pulled onto the field right before game time and remained there for what seemed forever. That was despite no more than a drizzle ever really falling and roughly a two to three-hour window in which it didn't rain at all.
Confused? Get in line.
'In hindsight, we could have played,” said Iowa High School Athletic Association Executive Director Alan Beste. 'But hindsight is 20-20.”
Linn-Mar and Johnston ended up not beginning their game until 8:05 Wednesday night, about 5 1/2 hours after first pitch originally was scheduled. That's not completely accurate since original game time actually was 1:30.
It got pushed back to 2:30 because the Cedar Rapids Prairie-Waukee quarterfinal was delayed for about 45 minutes because of rain.
The threat of more rain was what caused all of this waiting and waiting.
Beste said the decision not to begin the Linn-Mar/Johnston game was a 'joint decision” between the IHSAA and host Iowa Cubs. The I-Cubs grounds crew continually relayed radar readings and forecasts to the IHSAA, and the belief was hard rain was going to hit.
So the tarp stayed, the teams bandied back and forth between their dugouts and their clubhouses in left field, fans left the park for awhile and came back. Cedar Rapids Washington and Iowa City West showed up mid-afternoon because they were supposed to follow Linn-Mar and Johnston.
Their quarterfinal wasn't going to get underway until 10:30 p.m. at least. West Des Moines Dowling and Mason City had their 4A quarterfinal postponed until Thursday morning at 9.
'We weren't so much concerned about having a game started and then playing two or three innings (and then a delay),” Beste said. 'Our concern was there were multiple times throughout the day when we thought we could pull the tarp, then we got advice that we probably shouldn't because we wouldn't be able to get all the way through warmups and then rain was going to come. We didn't want the kids to warm up, take infield and then have to cover the field. That's what happened here earlier, so we didn't want to have that happen again.”
The Class 3A state softball championship game didn't end last week until 1:30 in the morning, so it's been quite a week.
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