The Maine Principals’ Association on Monday extended the regular season for tennis because of recent weather and is considering doing the same for baseball and softball so that all regular-season games can be played before regional tournaments begin.

Before the change, Wednesday was the last day for countable tennis matches for the state team tournament. Now it will be Saturday. The singles tournament for boys and girls was to begin Friday and finish Monday.

According to tournament director Don Atkinson, the 48 qualifiers in each tournament will begin play Memorial Day and finish the quarterfinals the following day. Semifinals and finals are likely to be held June 3.

The team tournament schedule will be released soon.

Two weeks of rain has caused numerous postponements in all sports. Some baseball and softball teams are slated to play four games this week, providing the weather cooperates.

Monday wasn’t a good start. The heavy morning rain caused more postponements, adding to the logjam of games. The last countable games in baseball and softball for tournament qualification are June 1.

“It’s certainly being discussed,” said Mike Burnham of the MPA of extending the baseball and softball seasons. “It’s not just baseball and softball. Along with tennis, lacrosse and track are affected too. Schools are doing everything they can to get the games in. We’re following the weather very closely.”

Burnham pointed out that track athletes haven’t had as many chances to meet state meet-qualifying times because of postponements.

Conference championship meets are Saturday with state meets scheduled on June 4.

Tennis teams were scrambling to get their matches in. Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth scheduled doubleheaders Monday.

Tennis has an advantage over the other sports in that it can be played indoors, providing the indoor facilities have available court time. Several teams have had matches inside.

Lacrosse teams that play on artificial turf or on grass fields that drain well can play games in bad weather. Baseball and softball aren’t as fortunate.

“We’re waiting to see how Monday and (today) go before we make a decision, “said Gordie Salls, Sanford High athletic director and a member of the MPA baseball committee. “We want to see how many games are played.

“The weather over the next two days will decide it. We’ve certainly had our share of tough springs in Maine over the years. But this one is especially tough. We’re getting close to running out of playable dates.”

Extending the regular season would not be unprecedented.

“Two years ago, we extended the season by a day,” said Burnham.

Cheverus’ baseball team is in better shape than most. The Stags have only one game to make up.

“Right now, we have games (today), Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and next Tuesday,” said Coach Mac McKew. “The Wednesday game is our makeup game. The Telegram League has some flexibility with a week off between the end of the regular season and the playoffs. The weather looks doable the rest of the week. I’m not sure we’re going to need an extension.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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