MIAA’s TMC says no to Fall II postseason, yes to new power rating system

Staff Writer
Published: 1/20/2021 2:09:42 PM

Two major votes passed through the MIAA Tournament Management Committee (TMC) during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

The first article voted on was whether to have postseason tournaments for the new Fall II season, with the TMC voting unanimously, 16-0, to not have any sanctioned MIAA tournaments.

The vote mostly pertains to football, the lone sport that was moved statewide from Fall I to Fall II. Soccer and volleyball are expected to be offered during the Fall II season in Franklin County, but since other parts of the state played those sports in the fall, it was already voted to not hold statewide postseason tournaments in those sports.

The Track and Field Committee determined that finding venues to host indoor track championships, a sport moved from the winter season to Fall II, also wouldn’t be feasible.

The TMC had previously voted not to have MIAA-sponsored postseason tournaments for the fall and winter seasons, and with the Fall II season being just seven weeks long (end of February through April), a football postseason was always a long shot.

“It’s more important for kids to play the maximum amount of games in those seven weeks,” TMC chairman Jim O’Leary said. “Four or five games, last two weeks we keep open for makeups. Not having a postseason tournament is consistent with what we’ve done. I don’t think anyone will be surprised by this.”

A discussion afterward centered around tournaments for the spring season. Multiple members of the committee made the case for trying everything possible to have some sort of tournament for the spring season, as those athletes had their entire season taken away last spring. Nothing was put into place during Wednesday’s meeting, however O’Leary stated he wanted to start putting a plan in place to hold spring tournaments, giving hope that they may wind up happening in the end.

The final vote came to implement a new Power Rating System used to determine which teams qualify for the postseason. A 17-1 vote put Boston Globe writer Jim Clark’s plan into place beginning the 2021 fall season.

Clark’s formula takes a team’s average margin of victory and adds it with the average of their opponents rankings to come up with an overall rating. The formula also puts a cap on the scoring margin so teams don’t run up the score. It replaces the MaxPreps rating system that was supposed to be in place this year, though was never utilized as there haven’t been any tournaments since the start of the pandemic.

The TMC put a stipulation in that each individual sport committee would discuss the scoring margin individually to come up with the fairest way so teams don’t only play their starters or run up the scores on other teams. After that, the TMC and each committee will come together to pick the best formula for each sport.

The one ‘no’ vote came from Mary Ryan, saying when she brought the proposal back to the Cape Ann League, they didn’t want to go with anything that had a scoring margin in place for ratings.

O’Leary made the case for why it’s needed.

“It’s a better formula with point differential,” O’Leary. “I know people will have a tough time with that portion of it. We have control over our formula where we didn't before (with MaxPreps). It’s more fair, it helps large schools and small schools. I think it’s the best one we can have.”

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