The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 19, 2019

Monday Mailbag: January 14, 2019

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag includes questions about game postponements, the Northwest District and the Associated Press basketball poll.

Q: What is the process used to determine if a basketball game is canceled because of bad weather? Who makes the decision? Name withheld upon request

A: Obviously you need weather that could potentially made travel conditions unsafe, not just for the teams involved but the fans. From there, the two schools usually talk, share information about the forecast, road conditions, etc. then come to a decision.

I reached out to Crestview High School Athletic Administrator Trent Kreischer for more information. This was his response:

“Typically it’s a collaborative decision among administration from both schools. Obviously, the traveling team can just say they aren’t coming.”

Sometimes the decision to postpone is a no-brainer. Other times it’s not so clearcut but in the end, safety is the first priority.

Q: Why were some of Saturday’s basketball games canceled on Saturday while others were played? Who makes these decisions? Name withheld upon request

A: Many of the games that were postponed were to the south of us, including Mercer County, where weather conditions seemed to be a bit worse than here. Van Wert at Marion Local is a good example.

Here’s something to keep in mind – while conditions may seem okay on a particular road or street, that doesn’t mean they’re okay all the way between visiting schools. Obviously this is a wide open area with the potential for drifting. Also, it snowed for hours on Saturday with no apparent end in sight.

As far as who makes the decisions, see the answer in the first question. It may vary a bit from school to school but in the end, safety is the top priority. No one wants to see a bad weather accident involving a team bus or fans traveling to a game.

Q: Is it safe to say that the Northwest District has the best high school basketball in the state? Name withheld upon request

A: It depends who you ask. If you’re going solely on state rankings, the Northwest District had 14 teams in last week’s poll, which looks good for the district – Toledo Whitmer and Lima Sr. in Division I; Wauseon and Mansfield Sr. in Division II; Archbold, Ottawa-Glandorf, Genoa and Oregon Cardinal Stritch in Division III, and St. Henry, Crestview, Marion Local and Hicksville in Division IV.

There’s plenty of basketball to be played. I’ll think we’ll learn more during the second half of the season.

Q: How accurate is the high school basketball poll that came out last week? Name withheld upon request

A: It’s not gospel if that’s what you’re asking, but I do think the poll usually lists some of the top teams in each division. Whether the teams are in the right spots is up for discussion and debate, but that’s part of the fun.

I think a lot of the poll is formed via word of mouth, name recognition or perhaps some behind the scenes campaigning, simply because it’s made up of slightly more than two dozen sportswriters and broadcasters around the state who can’t possibly see every team.

I’ve had Associated Press voters contact me before to ask about a specific team or teams that I’ve seen and I’ll give them my thoughts. I’m sure a lot of that goes on, but there’s nothing wrong with it as long as the information being shared is accurate.

If you have a question for next week’s Monday Mailbag, email it to

POSTED: 01/14/19 at 6:31 am. FILED UNDER: Sports