A “rain check,” by definition, is “a ticket given for later use when any sports or outdoor event is interrupted or postponed by rain.” The phrase has evolved, however, to become a general term used for any cancellation due to unpredictable circumstances—much like the haze currently affecting many areas in the Southeast Asian region.
Thick smoke coming from the blazing fires in the forests of Java, Indonesia has caused a haze so expansive that it led to the eventual cancellation of two major sporting events in the area. Both Day 1 of the 2015 FINA Swimming World Cup in Singapore and the Standard Chartered KL Marathon in Malaysia had to take a rain check due to health risks that arose following the rapidly declining air quality, like coughing, skin irritation, and asthma, to name a few.
Although the Southeast Asian haze is a current occurrence, having unforeseen events lead to games being postponed or cancelled is nothing new in the history of sports. Read on to find five more athletic events that had to take an unfortunate rain check.
The 1908 Olympics, although held in London, was originally supposed to be hosted by Rome—that is, until Mount Vesuvius erupted and wreaked wreck and ruin to Naples. The Italian government was then forced to use funds allocated for the Olympics to repair Naples and its surrounding areas.
In 2003, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, set to be hosted by China, was cancelled just five months prior to the official opening. The reason: the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak, which was quickly spreading through China and the rest of East Asia.
In the middle of the 2013 IronKids Triathlon in Cebu, organizers were forced to stop the event due to strong winds and rains affecting the competition—most especially the swimming leg of the meet.
Freezing temperatures and several inches of snow rendered Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland unplayable, leading to the cancellation of the country’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Russia in 2013.
In a recent 2015 NBA pre-season game, the Los Angeles Lakers were forced to abandon their game versus the Golden State Warriors due to uncontrollable seepage in the floor. The Lakers were leading 85-70 against the Warriors with 2:16 left in the third quarter when officials decided to stop the game.
According to official reports, the haze has unfortunately already reached the Philippine skies. The Department of Health has advised people to stay indoors as much as possible, in airconditioned areas with proper ventillation. Athletes young and old, rookie and pro alike, are advised to refrain from playing outdoors. In the meantime, you could focus on practicing or conditioning for your next game. While the action might have to take a rain check, your love for the game never has to.