ANDERSON — The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.
With snow predicted for the overnight hours and the high predicted to top out at 40 degrees Tuesday, a decision was made to push back the start of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament and the Madison County Softball Tournament by 24 hours.
Both events will kick off at 5 p.m. Wednesday, joining the Madison County Girls Tennis Tournament on a crowded schedule that also will add the county track and field championships on Friday.
Temperatures Wednesday are expected to reach 53 degress with highs in the 60s forecast for Thursday and Friday. The one bump in the road is a 30 percent chance of rain Friday that could alter the schedule for Saturday's baseball and softball championship rounds.
This week annually produces a minefield for athletic directors to navigate. If all goes well, five new county champions will be crowned by 10 p.m. Saturday night. Getting there, however, always seems to be an adventure.
The current baseball and softball schedules call for games to be played Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Any additional hiccups with the weather will cause further delays and reschedulings.
But, as it stands, the baseball teams face the most immediate challenge. Specifically Alexandria and Anderson Prep, who are slated to compete in the Muller tourney's second "play-in" game.
The addition of a ninth team — APA — in the baseball and softball brackets last year called for a new format. In this year's field, that results in the APA-Alex winner taking on Pendleton Heights on Thursday while Wednesday's three other winners rest for Friday's semifinals.
In the softball bracket, Elwood and Lapel drew the "play-in" assignment, with the winner facing Anderson on Thursday. The biggest difference is that softball pitchers don't require as much rest between starts.