A few minutes ago, I canceled my first event. I've been looking over my shoulder, waiting for this moment to come for the past 8.5 years. I've been on the brink more times than I can count, but until today, I've always found a way. 51 events with no cancellations!
With the grass fields pulled officially yesterday, and the primary turf option in serious danger as of this morning, I still held out hope with two turf options at other locations. UVA (thank you Alika, Theresa, and Kerry) and Liberty (thank you Coach Jason) were wonderful and helped me to secure facilities on their campuses to host the event. Unfortunately, as you've probably seen on the news, the entire East Coast is getting hammered with bad weather. Most facilities are not set up to handle this kind of weather, so it wasn't as simple as plowing the fields and we were told that shoveling the snow was not an option. With icy road conditions, safety also became a major concern.
Commonwealth is an important early-season playing opportunity for teams, and there is no doubt that canceling this event will be an obstacle for these teams as they have now lost a sanctioned playing opportunity. I've spent a significant amount of time helping some of these teams over the years, so while I know that weather is always an uncontrollable, I still feel a great sense of personal responsibility for the outcome of this week's challenges.
Of secondary concern is the fact that Commonwealth Cup represents Without Limits' single biggest fundraiser for Virginia is for Layouts, a playing and development opportunity for D-III and on-the-cusp teams being hosted next month. I am bringing in 7 outstanding club players to guest coach and mentor teams, and while worth every penny, it is also an expensive endeavor. Losing Commonwealth is crippling.
The option to schedule an event for next weekend has been put on the table for teams, though at this point, that option does not seem to be desirable for most.
Thank you to all for being gracious, understanding, and patient as we worked through lots of issues over the past few days. We hope to host you at Without Limits events in the future, and we hope that the weather gods treat us better in March!