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Sports

Phil Scherer
Luke Kirkland throws a pitch last weekend at Overlook Park for the Los Alamos High School baseball team. Pitching is one of the many factors that change for a team when forced to play a doubleheader.
Atomic City Update: High school baseball and softball need fewer doubleheaders

As high school baseball and softball season moves along this spring, I have found great joy in watching the kids play games they love on a daily basis. It is obvious how much fun they are having on the field, and it is great to see the teams at Los Alamos High School find success late in the schedule. 

However, the one negative I have found about the schedule are the number of doubleheaders the teams are forced to play. From a scheduling standpoint, I absolutely understand the need for doubleheaders. The teams all have to play a certain amount of games, and they want the kids to miss as little school as possible. 

But I can’t see many other positives to the doubleheaders. First of all, playing two games back-to-back, which can take more than six hours, is physically draining for the players. Baseball is a game of lots of starts and stops. It requires laser-sharp focus and attention while in the field and in the batter’s box. 

By the end of a second game, it is possible that a player would have played 14 innings in the field, and taken eight or more at-bats. I can’t believe that a player is as sharp after playing that much as he would have been hours earlier, at the beginning of the first game. 

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