MIAA Tournament Management Committee approvals some alignments, tables MaxPreps for fall of 2020

Sports Editor
Published: 6/18/2020 3:45:20 PM

The MIAA took a small step Thursday in its quest to align all sports by 2021-2022, when the state shifts to statewide tournaments.

The Tournament Management Committee (TMC) met virtually and approved by a 16-0 vote the recommended alignments for field hockey, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer and girls volleyball.

Those alignments will be adjusted following appeals, corrections for clerical errors and any changes with schools by 2021.

Sport subcommittees followed guidelines, set by the TMC, to create the alignments. Divisions were based on enrollment figures with single-gender schools aligned by doubling their enrollments. Schools were then adjusted based on factors: vocational schools were moved down two divisions, while private schools and cooperate schools were moved up one division.

Schools that want to opt up to a higher division will do so automatically. Appeals will be heard based on several factors: private schools, urban schools, co-op schools, vocational schools, participation trends and large enrollment changes.

Not all sports had alignments ready to be approved so the committee voted 13-0 to meet on June 29 when it will discuss and vote on alignments for football, ice hockey and any other fall or winter sports whose alignments are ready to be reviewed. The TMC set a July 1 deadline for fall and winter alignments.

The TMC was scheduled to meet earlier in June to vote on alignments, however, confusion from some of the subcommittees led to proposals that needed clarity.

The TMC wants consistency with the alignments and some sports did not offer that with their proposals. In wrestling, for example, there were no western Massachusetts schools in Division 2. Cross Country, meanwhile, had nine divisions with three state championships.

As for the approved alignments, field hockey has four divisions, while basketball, soccer and girls volleyball has five each.

The TMC also voted 13-0 to eliminate the mandated use of MaxPreps as the seeding tool for the 2020 fall season. MaxPreps will be used to seed teams for the statewide tournaments that begin in 2021-2022. The TMC wanted MaxPreps to be used this coming year to see how it worked. Individual sports can still use it if it so chooses.

Mike Moran can be reached at mmoran@gazettenet.com. Follow on Twitter @mikemoranDHG.

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