Monday, March 15, 2010

The big "C" word - Crossover Season

I've 'threatened' you all with this column for some time, but the time has finally arrived. That's right, I'm talking about the one season that every SID hates, dreads and fears: CROSSOVER SEASON.

For those of you who are A.) not in the sports information profession and/or B.) new to the SID world, here is a brief definition of what "crossover season" is: It is the period of time where two periods of sports seasons overlap in which one sports season is ending and another sports season is beginning.

In the SID world, we have two crossover seasons to deal with - when the fall sports end and winter sports begin and when the winter sports end and the spring sports begin.

In my humble opinion, the winter-to-spring sports crossover is the evil one of the two. With baseball (and sometimes softball) starting around the first of February, it makes life crazy with diamond and hoops action going on at the same time. And with our conference being the size it is right now, we generally have to deal with the first weekend of conference baseball games DURING the conference basketball tournament. (Somehow we just missed doing that this year. The conference baseball games started the weekend after the basketball tournaments. And believe me, I'm not complaining.)

The heavy snow this winter has been a blessing in disguise since numerous baseball and softball games were wiped out due to the weather, making the crossover season less crazy - if you can imagine that even being possible.

What makes crossover season maddening is the fact a SID is pulled in so many different directions. Regardless of which crossover season you're dealing with, you are running from an outdoor sport to an indoor one or vice versa. Also, there are always conference tournaments to deal with as well as, if your teams are fortunate enough, national tournaments to gear up for. All the while, you are trying to hype up the teams whose seasons are just getting underway.

Being a SID is a seven-day a week job to begin with. However, crossover season turns that into an eight- or even a nine-day a week job. The are the normal game-day prep stuff you have to do every each team, constant web updates, keeping up with several player awards - weekly and year-end honors, the national rankings, media guide stuff and so on and so forth.

While the teams' seasons might overlap for a month to six weeks (but that could stretch to over two months depending on basketball tournaments and when baseball starts), the crossover begins long before the first game for the 'upcoming' sports season. There is always a ton of prep work to do to get ready for a new season and that is not even mentioning working on a media guide. Case in point, come April I will be knee deep in football. (Scary part is that I'm looking forward to working on football stuff. Yes, I know I'm warped. This is further proof that my bride is a saint.)

This year, both crossover seasons have been rough on me. The fall-to-winter sports crossover nearly buried me since my previous assistant left for another job. Nothing like juggling 12 athletic programs by yourself at once. While I've not always had an assistant, my school has not had as many athletic programs as it does now. So, dealing with 12 sports at once was a new one on me.

The winter-to-spring sports crossover was bumpy since we hired my new assistant and he started in the middle of it. Meaning, while dealing with the happenings of 12 athletic programs, I was training someone. There is something about having to learn on the fly and learning while under fire.

Needless to say, I need a nap.

I recognize my situation was out of the norm for me this year, but I also know this is the norm for many of NAIA and other one-man shop SIDs. Crossover season is a killer. Fortunately for me, it's over, but it will last a few more weeks for many of you.

What I have noticed is that each year crossover season hits and the mayhem ensues, yet there seems to be no magic formula for how to deal with it - at least none that I've come across. The one thing that works and helps me get through is planning ahead and keeping tabs on the game schedule. That's about all the best that I can come up with right now. Of course, I'm still trying to recover from my most recent crossover season.

If you have any suggestions on how best to deal with and/or survive crossover season, please share.


  1. 1. Coffee. 2. Don't sleep. 3. Coffee. 4. Teach the boy how to help. 5. Coffee

  2. Got steps 1, 2, 3 & 5 down pat ... need to work on No. 4