We’ve been having a bit of a drought this fall in North Carolina. Not a dust bowl drought, but most of August and September were VERY sunny and it hardly ever rained. We’d put this nifty new voice mail system in place for our ‘SoccerLine’ where you can register via phone, get league info, and check for weather cancellations which any league officer can update. But the weather never got bad enough to where we had to use it!
So we had been spoiled by weekend after weekend of sunny (and often HOT) weather for our matches. Well that all changed this weekend!
Tropical Storm Tammy meandered up the coast and brought with it a LOT of rain. Most of the rain was on the coast, but we got plenty in central NC as well. The Friday night matches got rained out (by a small cell of rain that hit RIGHT at game time – well that and a 30 car pile up on the nearby interstate that had ALL our local roads gridlocked with rerouted traffic) But we had hoped the fields would drain enough by Saturday morning that they could be used. Sure enough – the ground was so dry it absorbed all the rain we’d gotten and weren’t even squishy. So we post our decision to hold the day’s slate of matches at 8AM and wouldn’t you know it, by 8:45 as the first matches were about to get underway, it starts to pour.
The kids loved it. It was warm enough that they didn’t care HOW wet they got. The parents had forgotten how soccer goes on unless there is lightening or torrents of rain so I was asked repeatedly "aren’t you going to call off the matches?" What, and deny the kids the opportunity to get all wet and muddy and NOT get into trouble? Game on!
The rain tapered off after the first round of matches, but it was enough to get one field a bit wet. Of course, that was the field my U10 match was slated for. It was actually in great shape, except there was this small area about 10ft in diameter right at the top of the center circle. It was ever so slightly lower than the rest of the field making a very shallow bowl and it was FULL of water. If the ball rolled into it, it stopped like a metal ball over a magnet. It was hilarious watching the kids dribble into it and the ball just stop while they kept running. I kept telling my center forwards to pass out to the wings to get around it, but I think they were having too much fun splashing through the puddle. So we lost the ball in that swamp many times (as did our opponent when they had that side of the field) After the match when my kids ran to the opposite sideline where all the parents were – EVERY one ran right through that mini lake!
The coaches play a pickup match after the morning matches for fun and we had been playing maybe 15 minutes when the sky opened up. We didn’t miss a beat and played for close to an hour in torrential rain. What an absolute blast. We were soaked to the skin and I don’t think my boots (cleats) will EVER dry out again, but it was worth it.
Sort of made the sunny Saturdays seem boring in comparison!