Winter sports’ snow policies differ


The girls winter crew team shovels as part of a snow day practice. Shoveling proves to be a healthy and productive way to get exercise on days when school is cancelled. CONTRIBUTED BY BROOKLINE ROWING

Muriel Statman, Staff Writer

The night before a storm, most students will wait anxiously by their computers and phones, refreshing the Snow Day Calculator, waiting for the familiar call from Brookline Public Schools. When the call finally comes, a wave of relief and joy sweeps over Brookline. These cancellations, however, can be problematic to groups that rely on school to perfect their skills: sports teams.

The school’s sports teams handle snow days in a variety of ways, each fitted to that sport’s nature and logistical needs.

Girls varsity basketball coach Allyson Toney said that snow days do not always affect the team’s practice.

“If they get the streets and the sidewalks and everything cleared early enough they sometimes will let us in the school in the afternoon,” Toney said.

According to Toney,  if a snow day were to land when the team was scheduled to have a game, that game would be postponed for a few days.  

“Not everyone on the team lives in Brookline and it’s not fair to have some sort of game or activity that not everybody can be at,” Toney said.

Crew coach Andrew McLaughlin said that their team decides what to do depending on how severe the weather is.

“If it’s a snow day and everything is shut down, then we just say stay at home, stay safe,” McLaughlin said. “If it’s more reasonable outside, a lot of times we’ll have optional practice if you can make it.”

During these optional practices, the team will have alternatives to their usual practice routine, usually related to the snow.

“We’ll send people out to try and shovel out some of the fire hydrants around the school and other times we’ll have groups go sledding and stuff so that we can still bond together as a team,” McLaughlin said.

Sophomore Wendy Frankel, a member of the junior varsity hockey team has had a different experience when encountering snow days.

“Normally I will get an email from the coach at around noon, depending on when they call the snow day,” Frankel said.  “We can’t go to practice because our practices are at Larz Anderson Park, and since it’s outdoors we can’t skate.”

Frankel said that handling the lost practice time can be difficult, but they can usually make up for it.

“The team knows to work extra hard after a day off so we can make up for lost time because everyone wants to do well,” Frankel said.

When there is a snow day on a game day, the game has to be cancelled instead of rescheduled.

“When we have to miss a game it’s a little more complicated, especially in hockey, because they have to schedule ice time,” Frankel said. “They have to rent out the ice at a location and time both teams can come to.”

According to Frankel, although snow days can often be inconvenient, the team is able to navigate through the cancellation.

“Even if practice is cancelled, we can overcome it as a team,” Frankel said.