MIAA Tournament Management Committee sets sports alignments – Boston Herald

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The MIAA Tournament Management Committee gave its approval for all four alignments on the docket.

Not that all that came smoothly.

While the committee needed less than 30 minutes to unanimously approve the new cross-country, indoor track and golf alignments, there was plenty of contentious moments during the boys ice hockey segment.

Wellesley athletic director John Brown was clearly agitated with the way some of the schools were aligned in the new setup, feeling they create a potential safety and health risk. He pointed out that since contact sports like ice hockey and football need to be treated differently.

“This has nothing to do with competition,” said Brown. “This has to do with making sure they stay safe in a collision sport. That’s why we created Div. 3A a few years ago. We need to look at doing the right thing here.”

Despite pleas from the likes of Brown and his counterpart at Wahconah, Jared Shannon, the boys ice hockey alignment passed by a 12-4 vote. As soon as the vote was announced, Hull athletic director and South Tournament Director Scott Paine expressed concern over the appeals process, hoping that people who would be dealing with them are knowledgeable about the sport.

Brookline athletic director Peter Rittenburg spoke on behalf of both cross-country and indoor track groups about the new plans. The cross-country plan was to split the state into three divisions with three sections per division.

At the three state meets, Div. 1 would consist of the top seven teams from each of Div. 1A, 1B, and 1C, plus the top 10 individuals from each of those races not on qualifying teams, for a total of 191 runners. The same would hold true for Div. 2 and 3.

“We tried to keep sections under 200 for safety reasons,” Rittenburg said. “We wanted to apply the TMC factors and do what’s right for the sport.”

As for indoor track, there had been initial talk of six divisions, but Rittenburg it would result in a watered-down product. They agreed on going to five divisions with 38 schools in Div. 1 and 2, 40 in Div. 3, 52 in Div. 4 and 69 in Div. 5.

The final item on the docket was preliminary discussion about the possibility of having winter tournaments. MIAA associate director Sherry Bryant said they are waiting for guidelines from the EEA, who have previously indicated they want to see initial data from this time period before they move forward.

Dennis-Yarmouth principal Paul Funk said it might not be a bad thing to begin discussions as soon as possible to gauge the possibility of winter sports taking place. Bridgewater-Raynham athletic director Dan Buron said it would help to learn what the chances are of a winter tournament so that his winter coaches could schedule games later in the year in case there is no postseason.

The TMC agreed to meet against on Oct. 21 at which time they are hoping to receive some clarity from the EEA.

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