Winter weather is not meant for soccer
By Katie Czenczek
Like many Canadian kids growing up, I played the gateway sport: Soccer, the starter sport for many kids who were forced to play every Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday. Maybe it’s so popular because it’s the cheapest sport to play. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment to get out and kick a ball into a net. Or, it could be that it’s easier to pick up when you’re still figuring out how to move your limbs in a purposeful fashion because you only really need to focus on your legs. Having to focus on running while throwing a ball? Not happening. Whatever the reason be, I was outside on a frozen November morning weekly up until Grade 10.
I remember how I used to dread those cold, icy mornings and nights. Because the grass field turned into an ice rink, you’d have to be careful not to launch the ball too far or fall straight on your butt while going for a tackle. I’d always come home with ice burns on my thighs and stomach because I was the kid that got a little too eager trying to take the ball away from my opponent. This is the problem I have with the soccer season here in Vancouver. I can’t for the life of me figure out how or why we play our soccer season during the most miserable months of the year.
Before this becomes a rant where I just seem like a wimp, hear me out. Traditionally—though I’m not entirely sure how kids play soccer today—I would be running out on the field starting the last week of August until around March, depending on how well my team did in playoffs. Rather than having us play when field conditions would be significantly better, we played through rain, hail, snow, and even a thunderstorm on one memorable occasion. If we were the unlucky team who played on the grass fields, we would be up to our necks in mud.
Though I loved the sport itself, all I’m asking is that a slight shift in when the season is played. Why not run it from January to June, with playoffs starting in July? Our mild summers are a lot easier to deal with. After all, there is a reason why soccer is played during the Summer Olympics rather than the Winter Olympics.