It has been a few years since one of my boys played soccer. Four of the five of them have played soccer, but when they did play, it was in the 4 to 6 age group through the local park district. This year, my 10-year-old decided he wanted to start playing again after giving up on baseball. I signed him up for a soccer camp over the summer and then enrolled him in a soccer league where they play in a variety of places around Northwest Indiana.
Today was the first game and it was a home game. Yesterday, I had heard that rain was in the forecast. I shrugged it off, especially when the sun was shining brightly this morning. When it was time to head out for his game just before 1:00, it started raining. Not just drizzling, but really raining. As I left I grabbed some water bottles and my purse. I didn't bother with an umbrella (luckily I had one in the car) or chairs or a raincoat or hat. I figured I'd be getting a call on the way over there that the game was cancelled.
I showed up and it continued to rain. The coach was out on the field and a few players were out on the field. The coach made a comment about the timing of the rain, but still they warmed up. One of the other moms showed up and I mentioned that I was surprised the game wasn't cancelled. She laughed. "No, they play in the rain," she said. "They'll only cancel if there's lightning."
I guess it's not like baseball. For many years, I had kids playing little league and if it had been raining like that for a baseball game, we probably would have gotten a call before we even left saying that it was cancelled. Apparently, soccer is like football. It's just a little rain...why not play? How was I supposed to know? However, once you're already there, it is nice to go ahead and have a game, rather than having to deal with make-up games and all the schedule juggling that it causes. It's also nice to have games just on weekends and pretty much only once a week as compared to a baseball schedule, where they would often play two or three games a week, plus have practices in between.
I also made another snafu when I walked over to talk to a couple of the only parents I recognized, all the way across the soggy field. Once I got there, with soaked, muddy, grass-covered feet, I realized that I wasn't supposed to be on that side of the field. That's where the coaches go. Spectators are relegated to the opposite side of the field. Ooops...noted. Won't do that again.
One part I really liked was that the game time is about half of what a baseball game is. It seemed to be about a half hour, then it was a short half-time break, another half hour and the game was over. And...it got tied up just before the second half was over. But it still ended. In baseball, you never, ever end a game that is tied. Sometimes they go on for a long time. There was usually a 2-hour time limit in little league, but if it was the middle of an inning or the game was tied, it got extended. I could get used to this one-hour game stuff. And really with the constant running on the field, one hour of play is plenty. Baseball is much more idle.
I do need to brush up on the rules of the game and the positions, because I have to admit that I don't remember much at all...other than you can't touch the ball and that there are offense players, defense players and a goalie. But it will be fun to enter a new chapter. He seems to really like it and I'm thinking he may be playing it for a while. I'm looking forward to the season and to easing into soccer mom mode.