MIAA votes to start 4/27, end 6/20 & reduce schedule

Published March 27, 2020


FRANKLIN—The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) held a meeting on March 19 to adjust the schedule of the 2020 spring sports season, which remains suspended in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. They had previously announced that the planned start date for the spring sports season to be April 27. That remains, but in a follow-up, the Tournament Management Committee voted how the spring season would look when/if it commences this spring.

The amendments to their rules include limiting the number of necessary practice days before any varsity games start, the number of scheduled games on the docket and the possibility of eliminating postseason play.

They wrote in an official release:

“The TMC is committed to allow for broad participation at all levels this spring. 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.”

Regarding potential postseason:

*The TMC voted 13-3 to approve a motion that a postseason will ONLY happen if the season begins as planned on April 27, 2020. If it starts after that date, no postseason will take place.

*They also voted unanimously to extend the spring season to June 20, 2020.

*They voted unanimously to allow a maximum amount of 12 games and a minimum of eight games on the season. A normal season usually consists of anywhere from 16 and 20 games.

They also plan to meet again to discuss up-to-date measures in consideration of the rapidly-evolving situations. They said in a statement: “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.”

Additionally,  Frequently Asked Questions were posted on the MIAA site. They read as follows:

FAQs about the 2020 Spring Season (dated 3/17/20)

1. How was the recent decision made regarding the structure of the spring regular season and tournament?

For this unprecedented situation, it was important for the MIAA Board ofDirectors (BOD) to take action. The BOD addressed the start and completion dates of the spring sports season inclusive of the end date for potential tournaments. BOD decisions are made after discussion and input from membership. Details regarding the structure of a proposed 2020 spring tournament will be addressed by the Tournament Management Committee (TMC). An update from TMC will be submitted to the BOD by March 25, 2020.

2. When will the decision regarding the structure of the spring regular and tournament season be done?

Details regarding the spring tournament season will be addressed by the TMCin collaboration with individual spring sport committee liaisons and chairs. An update from TMC will be submitted to the BOD by March 25, 2020.

3. Is there a deadline for when the start of the spring season must begin beyond April 27th?

No, a deadline date has not been established at this time.

4. Can a school, school district, or coach practice, scrimmage, or have a game in advance of the new spring season start date of April 27, 2020?

No. The spring season begins on April 27th

5. If, and when, spring sports practices and games are reinstated, what health and safety guidelines will be in place?

The TMC will evaluate health and safety guidelines and will bring forth a recommendation(s) to the BOD before the spring season start date.

6. If, and when, spring sports practices and games are reinstated, what eligibility guidelines will be in place?

The BOD will evaluate eligibility guidelines and provide an update before the official start of the spring season.

7. What is the status of MIAA State Championships for spring sports?

The intent is to provide student-athletes with a spring tournament experience. The TMC will collaborate with spring sport committee liaisons and chairs to recommend an appropriate tournament structure.