Bulletin Board: Brattleboro’s Harris Hill Ski Jump canceled for 2021

  • A groomer spreads snow at the base of Brattleboro’s Harris Hill Ski Jump in advance of the annual Presidents’ Day weekend competition back in 2019. The event has been canceled for 2021 due to COVID-19. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Reports
Published: 10/14/2020 7:12:23 PM

Brattleboro’s Harris Hill Ski Jump is canceling its February 2021 competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic and turning its attention to planning for its centennial in 2022.

“We considered the enormous health risks to the jumpers, coaches and judges coming from around the country and overseas,” event co-directors Kate McGinn and Liz Richards said. “Those risks would extend to the hundreds of volunteers who staff the competition and the thousands of spectators who come from all over New England.”

Since its start in 1922, the event has attracted ski jumpers from North America and Europe who leap off a 90-meter hill that’s New England’s only Olympic-size venue and one of just six of its size in the country.

“Planning for an event of this scope would normally start this month, but we feel that it would be irresponsible to begin efforts based upon hope that a vaccine would render everyone safe in time,” McGinn and Richards said.

The event has been canceled only 10 times in its history, either for lack of snow, World War II or, most recently, to rebuild the hill to international competition standards.

College hockey

Springfield to host 2024 NCAA Regional

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced this week that the MassMutual Center, in conjunction with American International College and the University of Massachusetts, has been selected to host a 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Regional, marking the first time the event has been held at the MassMutual Center.  

“We are extremely excited to be hosting the NCAA Division I Men’s Regional Ice Hockey Championships in 2024,” said Sean Dolan, General Manager of the MassMutual Center. “We are looking forward to partnering with both the University of Massachusetts and American International College as we welcome hockey fans to Western Massachusetts, where we have established a winning tradition.” 

The two-day regional will feature four teams competing in two first round games, with the winners advancing to the regional final the following day. The winner of the regional final will advance to the 2024 Frozen Four, which will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. 

“We are incredibly proud to partner with American International College and the MassMutual Center for a 2024 Regional,” said Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford. “We have been privileged to see firsthand the passion that fans in this region have for college hockey, and we are looking forward to playing a part in hosting a first-class event in Springfield during one of the most exciting weekends on the college hockey calendar.” 

In addition to Springfield, Providence, R.I. (Dunkin’ Donuts Center), Sioux Falls, S.D. (Denny Sanford PREMIER Center), and Maryland Heights, Mo. (Centene Community Ice Center) were also selected as regional sites in 2024. 

“We are thrilled to be awarded the bid for the Division I Ice Hockey Championship with UMass and the MassMutual Center for 2024,” said AIC Interim Director of Athletic Jessica Chapin. “This will be a wonderful opportunity to add to the storied history of hockey in the Springfield, Massachusetts area.” 

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