With the 33rd annual meeting of the MIAA less than three months away, the Board of Directors met Thursday to discuss potential topics. And with last year’s meeting the most well attended in history thanks to a vote on a state-wide football playoff system, the board was looking for hot topics that would generate similar interest at the April 1 meeting.
Among the subjects discussed:
Mixed gender teams — When Newton North used four boys to beat North Andover, 3-2, in double overtime in the Division 1 field hockey tournament last November, the isssue of boys playing on girls’ teams resurfaced. The MIAA has passed numerous rules over the years to limit boys’ access to girls’ teams, only to have the courts rule against them. The field hockey committee discussed the issue at their Jan. 5 meeting and the subject could appear on the agenda of the annual meeting.
Out-of-season coaching — The MIAA rulebook is filled with rules limiting coaches from having contact with their players during the offseason. But the rules are near impossible to enforce and the board pointed out many violate the spirit of the rules without violating the actual rules. The modification of those rules, even the elimination of the rules, was discussed and could be an agenda item.
Give non-public schools their own tournament — The idea is as old as the MIAA: create a separate tournament for Catholic schools that draw from numerous communities. The proposal to create separate tournaments has been making its way across the state and the board could present the idea to the membership at the annual meeting. But this would require the MIAA to do a detailed financial assessment of how two tournaments would effect the organization’s bottom line. With 80 percent of MIAA revenues coming from tournaments, this isn’t a decision that would happen overnight.
A part of the proposal includes:
- Equity in state tournaments that feature 20 or more non-public member schools.
- Football would not be affected because it doesn't have a state-wide tournament.
- Sports affected would include soccer, boy's golf, cross country, girls' volleyball, girls' swimming, basketball, boys' ice hockey, indoor track, outdoor track, baseball, softball and tennis.
Coop teams — District Committees have expressed concern over how the rule allowing coop teams has been applied differently across the state. Girls’ ice hockey is the primary sport where the issue of coop standards has surfaced.
The next board meeting is March 10.
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Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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