The suburban Maryland water shortage forced the closing of Bowie Race Course for one day and shut down several other area sports facilities yesterday.
Montgomery and Prince George's county swimming pools were closed yesterday, along with some golf courses. The pools were reopened at 5 p.m. yesterday when restrictions on the use of water was eased.
Some urban gold courses wre closed yesterday, but will be permitted to open today, watering is prohibited. Racing will resume at Bowie today.
"We will continuee to conserve water, in compliance with the conty executive's request, but the ban has been lifted and we will be set for the first race at 1 p.m.," general manager Al Karwacki declared. "The water used to sprinkle the racing strip will be pumped out of the Patuxent River. Ice machines will be closed. Water fountains in the grandstands andd club house will be shut off.
"Water will not be served in the clubhouse dining room unless the fan asks for it. Water also will be cut off for the urinals and we will be using plastic plates instead of the regular ones which have to be washed. The air conditioning is not a problem. It is a self-containing unit that does not need water."
Laurel Raceway, located in Ann Arundel County; has not been affected by the emergency and continues to run at 7:30 p.m.
Beltsville Speedway, which was scheduled to run stock cars last night also closed down - but racing is expected to resume next Friday night.
The Middle Atlantic Gold Association father-son tournament scheduled for Chevy Chase Club yesterday was postponed until July 22. Other local golf tournaments however, such as the PGA Junior qualifying at Montgomery Village the Middle Atlantic prosenior at Rossmoor and the Heroes Inc. Benefit at Indian Spring, were held as scheduled.
All courses had their watering systems turned off and are not allowing electric or pull carts onto the course.
In addition, the member-guest tournament will be held at Greenscastle Bel is still scheduled.
In the District, the Urban Coalition basketball league postponed all its high school professional games scheduled for the weekend due to the heat.
"The doctors told us it wouldn't be safe indoors in this type of heat," league director Jim Wiggins said. "We'll just push our schedule back a week and pick up next Friday night."
The Jellef Boy's Club summer league basketball games were held as scheduled last night.
For Bowie, the experience of the last 36 hours was unique. The track has been forced to cancel racing programs before, but usually for reasons such as snow, ice, severe cold or a treacherous racing strip.
"It's the first time water kept us closed," Karwacki noted."I believe we might have run Friday and stayed under the 15,000-gallon restriction but there are days during normal times when we have put as much as 60,000 gallons on the track."
There are no gaps in the Maryland racing schedule to serve as makeup dates, so yesterday's card is lost. Bowie's meeting ends Saturday, July 23.