Rain wiped out Wednesday’s District 16 and 31 Little League schedules. Heat will alter the schedule for the weekend.
District 16/31 administration decided to move games on Saturday and Sunday from the afternoon to the morning to avoid a heat wave hitting the area. Instead of games starting at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. those days, they will begin at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The only exception is the District 31 Major Softball championship game, which was rained out Wednesday. The Greater Wyoming Area at Back Mountain game will be played at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. All other games postponed Wednesday were moved to Thursday.
“There is going to be a heat index of 100 degrees,” District 16/31 administrator Bob Bertoni said. “We don’t want to put the kids in harm’s way. Safety has to be number one, not just for the kids but for umpires and everybody involved in the game. We decided to do it early in the morning and the fields are available, so that’s probably a better time. It’s a safer time for everyone.”
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 92 degrees on Saturday and 95 degrees on Sunday, both at times when the games were originally scheduled. With the heat index, the combined effects of the temperature and humidity of the air, it is expected to feel close to 100 degrees on Saturday and 100 degrees on Sunday.
The morning starts mean games will be played in temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s.
Bertoni has spent over three decades in District 16/31 administration, taking over the top position six years ago after many years as the umpire-in-chief. He said game times have been changed in the past due to heat concerns.
“We’ve definitely done this before,” Bertoni said. “In fact, we’ve done this when I was the UIC. A few years back, there was a heat index of 101, so we moved the games to early in the day and late at night. We didn’t play in the middle of the day.”
Saturday’s revised schedule:
• District 16 9-11 Baseball: Duryea/Pittston City vs. Mountain Top, 9 a.m.; Nanticoke vs. Township Baseball, 9 a.m. at Hanover Little League; South Wilkes-Barre at Hanover, 11 a.m.
• District 31 9-11 Baseball: Northwest at West Pittston, 10 a.m.; Back Mountain American at Kingston/Forty Fort, 10 a.m.
• Section 5 Junior Softball: Harveys Lake at Mountain Top, 11 a.m.
• District 31 Major Softball: Greater Wyoming Area at Back Mountain, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday’s revised schedule:
• District 16 Major Baseball: Duryea/Pittston City vs. Plains, 9 a.m., at Mountain Top Little League; Avoca/Dupont at Mountain Top, 11 a.m.; Nanticoke vs. Township Baseball, 9 a.m. at Hanover Little League; South Wilkes-Barre at Hanover, 11 a.m.
• District 31 Major Baseball: West Pittston vs. Kingston/Forty Fort, 9 a.m. at Harveys Lake Little League; Back Mountain National at Harveys Lake, 11 a.m.; Northwest vs. Exeter, 9 a.m. at West Side Little League (Ed/Lark field); Back Mountain North at West Side, 11 a.m.
• A District 16 8-10 Softball game and a District 31 8-10 softball game will be played at 6 p.m. The pairings weren’t determined.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar