Spring Sports Season Shorter than Counterparts, Extra Challenging

Multi-sport athletes share experiences


Katie Lattin

Although the season lengths are different, students like Eckes feel like they have similar amounts of practice time across their sports.

Faith Zhao, Staff Writer

“Whether it’s a short season or a long season, you give me as many nights like that as possible and that’s as good as it gets.” 

This is the beauty of spring sports. 

The average season length of spring and fall sports seasons are around 7-10 weeks, however, the winter sports season is double the length. This season length disparity is mainly due to the Minnesota weather: snow covering the playing field, the low temperature, or the closed golf courses. The weather makes the 16 weeks of the spring season turn into 10-13 weeks, with tournaments being postponed, canceled, or rescheduled, and no available practice grounds. Nick Rathmann, head of the athletic department, argues “I think spring feels very short not just because of the week number, but because they have so many weather related cancellations that there’s just not as much action as there is say fall or the winter.” 

Liam Brink ‘’26, part of both the hockey and baseball team states that “Whenever I come from my winter sport to a spring sport, It feels like a really weird transition. Because the winter season was so long, we were able to take more time to do things and spread out games. Although, in my spring sport, we have 2 games or more a week and a lot more of a crammed schedule. The spring sport feels a bit rushed for me.” 

Cole Eckes ‘26, a team member of the alpine and golf team says that, “I appreciate the way practices are structured for both of my spring and winter sports, and they are structured to fit the length of the season. I feel like I am getting similar practice time in both sports, despite the difference in length of season.”

Extending the season earlier in the winter with more indoor practices seem possible, however, Rathmann asks the question of, “Obviously teams try to find indoor facilities, [but] my hunch is that they are not very effective, they are not like the real thing, so we are not being as efficient as we can.” Not only that, but he notes that  finances and the competition between schools of the limited indoor facilities also play a big role in indoor practices, having planned the indoor golf practice facility in November. 

Regarding the amount of tournaments, Rathmann says “Each sport is different, and it’s the coaches that propose how many matches/games they play.” Even if the coaches propose 30 matches in a tennis season, realistically, due to the weather, the tennis team “[is] probably going to play closer to 13 rescheduled smartly.”  Basketball (a winter sport) plays for 18 weeks, with 26 games in the season, while baseball and softball plays for 13 with 20 games. Despite the differences in season length and game number, Rathmann points out that “Baseball wouldn’t want to play more, because they need pitchers and anytime someone pitches their arm is sore and they can’t pitch again [for] 3 or 4 days until they recover. There is a good reason within all of [the amount of games].” 

Eckes brings a new perspective, saying “the winter season officially starts early on the calendar in late November or December, but the time period in which we are actually skiing is relatively short. In both cases (winter and spring), tournaments and races have the potential to be held back. Sometimes in skiing we have had a race planned for December but there is simply not enough snow or the snow is poor quality.”

Brink mentions, “Longer seasons tend to have more space for rest days or games per week. The longer season can also be more open to more tournaments that are away from home, such as a tournament in Duluth. I have played more hockey tournaments that were away than I have in baseball.” 

Rathmann wants the community to know that “the season length is more well thought out than you might expect. This comes from many years of trying different things: trying to extend a week later or trying to go a week earlier, [and] I think we’ve kind of found the sweet spot for how long we can make a particular spring sport. Still there are always conversations and chatter as to how to do it better and open to ideas.” 

“Even though there are severe weather issues, and way too many cancellations” Rathmann says, “My favorite season though, while short and while a lot of weather is spring. And the reason spring is the best by far, is because if you come on campus on an afternoon like last week when it’s 80 degrees, and we had track practice, a JV baseball game, a softball game, a varsity baseball game, a varsity tennis match, [and a] lacrosse game going on all at the same time, [so] our campus is so full. There is almost nowhere to park, every event is going on from 3 to almost 9pm and kids are active [and] having fun again…Whether it’s a short season or a long season, you give me as many nights like that as possible and that’s as good as it gets.” 

The spring season allows Blake to really come together as a community and share the familiar school spirit of cheering for Blake, and even booing the other team all together as one school, on one campus.