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MIAA moving forward with plans for sectional tournaments only

Staff Writer
Published: 4/2/2020 6:11:26 PM
Modified: 4/2/2020 6:11:15 PM

The winds of change continued for the the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association on Thursday.

Only a few days removed from the MIAA’s Board of Directors conference call on Monday, the organization’s Tournament Management Committee held a call on Thursday to discuss what a potential postseason structure would entail if the spring high school sports season is played.

The TMC recommended, by a 16-1 vote, that its “sole concentration will be playing through a sectional tournament only.” That would mean the elimination of a state tournament for this spring, with Western Mass. title games marking the end of the line for squads in the area.

The TMC voted unanimously to cancel any individual tennis tournaments, as well as a potential Super 8 baseball tournament.

The MIAA determined in its meeting on Monday that the spring season would begin on May 4 and run through June 27 due to the coronvirus pandemic. To that end, the cutoff dates for sectional tournaments were determined during Thursday’s call as June 12 for baseball, lacrosse, rugby, softball, tennis and volleyball. Seeding meetings would take place on June 13, with postseason games beginning the week of June 15. Sectional finals are tentatively slated for the weekend of June 27.

For track & field, sectional meets would take place on June 17, and divisional meets would follow on June 27.

The TMC also voted by a 16-0 margin that qualifying for the postseason would remain the same, meaning that a .500 record or better, as well as finishing in first or second in one’s league would be enough to earn a tournament berth. The Sullivan Rule is also still included.

All this is still dependent upon school returning on May 4. The TMC’s next meeting is set for April 6.

“There is hope that schools will go back into session on May 4, however, with the fluid flow of information and news, personal safety and well-being recommendations are changing daily,” wrote the MIAA following Thursday’s meeting.

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