Among the hats I wear (and write slices about) is volunteer coach of high-school and middle-school ultimate frisbee teams. One of the high-school teams played its first game last week, with more to come through the soon-to-be spring. I say 'soon-to-be,' not just because of the clock change and equinox that are approaching as March continues its, um, march, but because it's been decidedly not spring for the bulk of the past four weeks.
Back in January, I joined a video call with other coaches where we proposed different starting dates for our season. Those lobbying for earlier felt urgency to maximize the time spent with young players in need of skills development. The more reps, the better, in other words. Those lobbying for a later or softer opening, including me, figured adequate weather would be at a premium, so either delaying in the hopes of warmer temperatures and snow-free fields or offering low-key optional events during this tenuous period would be preferable to staking a firm claim to dates that would likely become cancellations.
Consensus formed around the early-bird plan, and here's the score since we began on February 8: Events cancelled 8, Events held 8. We're all tied up! The pessimist in me says, "Told you so." The optimist in me looks at the eight events that happened on schedule and the progress that players made at those sessions and grudgingly dusts off an old saying from a different sport, attributed to Wayne Gretzky: "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."