HIBBING — There’s one thing that gets me worked up and that’s forfeiting or cancelling games.

That seems to be happening a lot this summer.

Hibbing is not immune to it because Post 222 did have to scrap one game because of a lack of players, but it’s the other teams around the area that have called off games with Hibbing that bugs me, too.

For Post 222, one prominent hockey school in the area pulled the pin on Hibbing earlier this summer. Really. They can’t field enough players for a team?

The reason they gave was hockey camp. I’ll tell you what, I know that hockey program is second-to-none in this state, but please, take some time off of the ice and hit the diamond.

Here are some questions to ponder for a moment.

Would they ever cancel a hockey or basketball game if enough players wanted to go to a baseball camp during the winter? Why doesn’t that ever happen? Could you see that ever happening?

The aforementioned team even went as far as pulling the plug on its entire season.

It’s hard to believe a school that size can’t field a Legion team. It’s a baseball school.

Just this week, Post 222 had another game called because that team couldn’t field enough players. I’ve seen this teams’ roster online, and I know they have enough players to field a team.

On Friday, Hibbing was supposed to play Virginia, but Virginia called the game off. Virginia had a good excuse. They started district play Saturday. That’s a legitimate reason.

When I was coaching legion (for over 10 years), we maybe had one time when we didn’t have enough guys to play a game.

I know it was during the Ely Tournament. We went there with eight players. Ely manager Tom Coombe was gracious enough to let us use one of his players, so at least we got that game in. The rest of the weekend, we were fine.

Other than that, I can’t recall a time when we had to forfeit a game. I did make one scheduling mistake, however.

West Duluth was supposed to travel to Hibbing one day, but I thought we were going to Duluth. We had the radio on, and the Duluth Huskies were getting ready to play. My heart sank into my stomach. I totally got that one wrong.

We turned around and headed home. We didn’t play that day, but I believe we made that game up a short time later. I have to thank Chuck Hagberg for letting that one slide.

It’s not just happening in legion ball either.

I got a text from Chris Zubich the other day. Hibbing was supposed to play Friday at Al Nyberg Field.

Their opponent cancelled the game.

According to Zubich, in 18 years of coaching, he could only recall one time when a team cancelled out. This year, Hibbing has had two such occasions.

These are baseball towns, with good high-school programs. Why can’t they field teams to play?

Summertime is baseball time. Attend your hockey and basketball camps. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you commit to a team, you should honor that commitment. That’s all I’m saying.

Playoffs begin next week. Should any team that forfeits a game during the regular season be allowed in the postseason?

That’s a question for the coaches to answer at their next organizational meetings, whenever they may be. It would be a good topic of discussion.

It might cut down on the number of cancellations during the regular season.


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