Sandy forces postponement of Baltimore-area high school athletic events

With Superstorm Sandy hitting the area, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland has decided to reschedule its cross country and soccer championships as well as the quarterfinals and semifinals of its field hockey tournament.

"The executive committee of the IAAM met this morning to look into rescheduling and reorganization our efforts just to make sure we going to accommodate the outages and school cancellations," said Sue Thompson, the executive director of the IAAM. "I wouldn't say we are scrambling, but it's challenging being a league of 31 schools that branches into seven different jurisdictions."

IAAM schools are located in Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Howard, Harford and Carroll counties and Baltimore city. Teams are divided into A, B and C Conferences.

The biggest change was made to the girls cross county championship, which was moved from Thursday afternoon to Monday at 2:30 p.m.

The 3.1-mile race will still be held at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville.

"We just felt the urgency to get the information to the kids about whether they were going to be running on Thursday," Thompson said. "It was going to be challenging. The course was marked over the weekend. It's going to have to be remarked. We are not sure what we are looking at in terms of downed trees and other safety mechanisms."

Soccer championships, scheduled to be played at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, are also being pushed back.

Games that were originally scheduled to be played Monday (quarterfinals), Wednesday (semifinals) and Friday (B and C Conference final) and Saturday (A final) are now set for Thursday, Saturday, Monday (A and B finals) and Tuesday (C final).

"It's still subject to change," Thompson said of the C Conference final. "We are still hoping to have it at Stevenson."

Field hockey quarterfinals and semifinals are moving from Tuesday and Thursday to Thursday and Friday. The championship schedule, however, remains unchanged. The A (noon), B (10 a.m.) and C ( 2 p.m.) finals are all slated to be played at Goucher College in Towson on Nov. 4.

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association has yet to make any changes, according to executive director Rick Diggs. The A and B Conference volleyball championships as well as the A Conference football semifinals are scheduled for Saturday.

Cross country and soccer finals will be played next week.

"We haven't announced anything yet, but we are going to wait until after (Tuesday)," Diggs said. "We have a policy we call emergency scheduling for playoffs that we may consider, depending how bad it is. We want to see how many power outages are out there and how many schools (retain power).

"We have volleyball finals coming up this weekend," he added. "We have football quarterfinals. We have to do what we consider is safe. So we have to consider a few things. We have a safety thing to consider with the A Conference football quarterfinals this weekend. Kids not practicing for two or three days, that's a concern. That's a mess if we have to alter that schedule."

Public schools have also had to adjust their schedules. The MPSSAA has postponed field hockey semifinals that were scheduled for Monday. No new dates have been announced

Some boys and girls soccer quarterfinals that were scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed until Wednesday.

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