Athletes step away from the competition this weekend
By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 4, 2018
A scheduled day off is better than a frantic cancellation.
That’s the logic behind DODEA-Europe’s decision not to hold any athletic events this weekend, a preemptive effort to avoid complications caused by a potential government shutdown.
The coming weekend lands squarely in the heart of the 2018-19 DODEA-Europe fall athletics season. Save for golf’s quick campaign, each sport is several weeks into its schedule and a few weeks away from its championship event. One might expect the typical autumn smorgasbord of football, volleyball, tennis and cross country.
Instead those teams will be idle, outside of a few independently arranged events, as DODEA-Europe takes a long-planned midseason hiatus.
In the past, a brief lapse in government funding, or even the looming threat of such a lapse, has proven disruptive for DODEA-Europe sports teams, which expend government funds when they travel. That possibility has prompted DODEA-Europe officials to simply avoid scheduling games and meets that might be jeopardized.
In this specific case, any events scheduled for this weekend, Oct. 5-6, would have been at risk had the government failed to pass a spending bill by Oct. 1. Though President Donald Trump signed a spending bill a few days ahead of that deadline to avoid the potential government shutdown, the idle weekend has been locked into the schedule for weeks.
“When the schedules were made in June and then revised in August, there was no certainty of what would or would not be in place,” DODEA-Europe athletic director Kathlene Clemmons said. “The prudent decision was to take the break to avoid possible confusion and chaos.”
While that week off is becoming something of a standard operating procedure for DODEA-Europe, Clemmons left open the possibility of scuttling the league-wide bye week in the future.
“If this particular scenario becomes a non-issue, I will ask for input from the schools as to stay with the break or fill in the schedule,” Clemmons said.
The 2018 DODEA-Europe golf championship meet will mark the organization’s return to action Oct. 10-11 at Wiesbaden. The weekend of Oct. 12-13 features a full slate of the four remaining fall sports.