Tennis teams struggle to get games in because of rain


Jackson Mailey

A view of the tennis court. This is the court that the tennis team in unable to play on when it rains.

The beginning of the season for spring sports has always been a struggle because of the rain. With the constant drizzle of Portland weather, games can get canceled and prevent people from playing their spring sport. 

Tennis is especially difficult, requiring near perfect conditions. When it rains, the tennis balls get soggy and waterlogged, making them heavy and hard to hit. 

Women’s tennis head coach Ian Twiss experienced very few games in the first four weeks.

“In the three to four weeks now, we’ve honestly only had like two days of legitimate practice outside, so it feels like they’re hasn’t been much of a season at all,” Twiss explained.

Practices have also been a challenge, rain posing a constant problem. With nearly all spring sports being dedicated to outdoor practice, it forces all the teams to cramp in the gym during rainy days. 

“We adapt and move as we can, but it’s tricky because all the sports get canceled, so like we can’t even go in the gym,” Twiss added. So we’ve done a lot of conditioning and running and stuff, but it can’t really replace the feel of swinging a tennis racket and hitting a tennis ball so the adjustment has been very challenging.”

There is the idea for tennis to move the sport to another season, but as Twiss explained, it wouldn’t be fair to people playing a fall sport. There can be some other solutions towards this problem of the rain.

“I think that Portland Parks & Rec, which is in charge of a lot of our tennis facilities should really think about what it would take to build another facility that’s an indoor facility or at least cover a couple different courts so that we have places to play,” Twiss said.. 

The rain got a little bit better as the season went on, but the effect of cancellations was still prevalent in men’s tennis as well.

“We’ve had about four cancellations so far but this week [the week from Apr., 2428] it’s looking good,” sophomore tennis player Alex Clark explained. “e’ve got sun all week and four games.” Solutions to this problem of tennis and rain haven’t really been thought out even though this problem continues to come back up in men’s and women’s tennis. 

“We had this problem last year [cancellations due to rain] a lot, we only got in about three games last year so that was pretty bad,” Clark added. 

Portland Public Schools spring sports have been given the short hand of the stick these past years with the amount of rain resulting in cancellations and rescheduling. It also affects the accessibility of practicing and where you can practice. 

There can be solutions to this problem but none of them have really reached a planning stage, meaning tennis might have the same problem for years to come. 

After a sunny last half of the tennis season the team managed to get games in but rain still impacted the team’s first half of the season in trying to get more games in.