MIAA update: Changes continue in hopes of salvaging spring season

Staff Writer
Published: 3/22/2020 6:10:40 PM

This could be a big week for the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The organization’s Tournament Management Committee (TMC) will hold another meeting on Tuesday morning, where it will continue to shape the agenda surrounding the potential for a spring sports season.

Late last week, the TMC determined in a meeting that the MIAA would adjust the 2020 spring sports season, which has been suspended until at least April 27 due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

At that meeting, the group voted to, among other things: lower the number of necessary practice days before games can begin, readjust the number of games to be played, and put a deadline to decide on whether or not there would be a postseason this spring.

“The TMC is committed to allow for broad participation at all levels this spring,” the organization stated in its press release of the meeting. “Keeping student-athletes connected, involved and engaged has meaning and purpose after the challenges that were faced at the end of the winter season and spring sports in general.”

If the season does begin on April 27, there will still be a postseason structure in place, however if the season does not begin until after April 27, the MIAA will not hold postseason tournaments in its various sports.

The TMC also passed a motion that amended Rule 35.4.1 in the MIAA Handbook, which will lower the number of necessary practice days after the season start date from 11 to seven. Under the old guidelines, with April 27 currently set as opening day for practices, games would not have been able to start until May 7. 

The cutoff date for spring regular season contests was moved to June 10 during the meeting, and the maximum number of games has been moved to 12 (the original number was between 16 and 20 depending on the sport). Teams will need to play a minimum number of eight games in order to be considered for postseason participation.

The situation continues to evolve with the nature of the virus however, and the MIAA acknowledged that changes are likely still to be forthcoming. Tuesday’s next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m.

“There is an understanding that with the incredible amount of uncertainty and movement surrounding the COVID-19 situation, that discussions around spring sports will be on-going and fluid,” the TMC said.

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