MIAA postpones start of spring sports season, cancels basketball and hockey state finals

  • Frontier players celebrate Lily Spencer’s three-run home run against Hoosac Valley last season during the WMass Div. 2 softball semifinal game at Sortino field on the UMass Campus in Amherst. The MIAA delayed the start of the spring season due to COVID-19 concerns.  STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/12/2020 10:03:19 PM
Modified: 3/12/2020 10:03:06 PM

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association informed Franklin County athletic directors via email on Thursday that spring sports will be delayed due to COVID-19 concerns until March 30.

The first playable day for spring sports would be 11 days after the first practice. The spring season for Franklin County was scheduled to start on Monday. 

“I think it is the best case scenario,” Turners Falls athletic director Adam Graves said. “We all knew something would happen.”

In the email, the MIAA stated that start dates would be re-evaluated before March 30. The absolute earliest the spring season could get underway with competitive play would be Friday, April 10. 

“Good move, I anticipated it coming,” Greenfield athletic director Mike Kuchieski said. “Hopefully, everyone will be safe by then and we get back to business.”

The email also said, “This decision is based on available information from numerous health agencies and is made in the best interest of our student-athletes, schools and communities...Respecting the fluidity of this situation, this decision will be revisited prior to March 30.”

During the delay, coaches are not permitted to partake in coaching activities. 

“We can make it work to allow the kids to have a season,” Graves said. “We will find a way to get it all in.”

Athol athletic director Dan Bevis said a delay can be managed. 

“We are going to have to reschedule some things,” Bevis said. “Which is typical given the weather. Maybe looking to schedule more games in a shorter time period.”

The decision to cancel the spring sports season altogether looms over Franklin County. 

“I think that would be disappointing across the board,” Bevis said. “You want your student-athletes to compete given that some of them are putting in a lot of hours getting ready. You feel bad for the seniors who won’t have the opportunity the play in the final season of their careers.”

The MIAA decision follows a wave of cancellations and suspensions across professional, college and high school sports. 

“The decision the MIAA made is one that we are seeing a lot of in our society with more and more information coming out about coronavirus,” Bevis said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t come to canceling.”  

Mahar athletic director Jim Woodward said the health of athletes, coaches and fans should be the top priority. 

“It is what it is, and I agree with it,” Woodward said. “You can’t put kids, faculty and coaches out there until they get this under control. What’s more important? Playing a few games or everyone staying healthy?”

The MIAA canceled the high school basketball and hockey state tournaments following Thursday night’s semifinal games. Teams making the finals will be crowned co-champions. 


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