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MIAA volleyball committee eyes set dates for early rounds of state tournament

The cutoff date for the MIAA girls' volleyball tournament is Friday, Oct. 28, with the release of seedings and pairings the following Monday.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

FRANKLIN — The goal is consistency, fairness, and equal days off between matches for the girls’ and boys’ state volleyball tournaments.

At Wednesday’s MIAA volleyball committee meeting, Winchester athletic director Marc Arria said that teams in the same division should have the same amount of rest between matches in the postseason. He cited as an example the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments — in which teams play a Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday schedule for first-round games.

The cutoff date for girls’ volleyball is Friday, Oct. 28, with seeding taking place the following Monday and preliminary-round matches starting up on Wednesday, Nov. 2. While election day (Nov. 8) and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) fall in the midst of the tournament, Arria believes schools should be able to schedule around the dates.


“It’s amazing how many conflicts will go away when you say, ‘this is the date,’” Arria said.

In the leadup to the tournament, questions arose about the MIAA power ratings — and how much benefit, if any, a team receives from playing teams in higher divisions during the regular season.

“A lot of teams [in Divisions 2 and 3] are looking to schedule [Division 1 opponents] because they think it has a big factor in rankings,” the boys’ volleyball coach at Lexington High, and formerly the girls’ varsity coach at Andover.

As explained by volleyball liaison Pam Gould and MIAA media liaison Jim Clark — the developer of the statewide power ratings system — the factors at play in a team’s rating are its margin of victory and opponents’ ranking.

In volleyball, set scores are not factored into margin of victory, just match scores (i.e. 3-0, but not 25-19, 25-19, 25-19).

Clark said the MIAA will release its initial power ratings for the fall season Friday.

Other noteworthy items . . .


▪ The MIAA recently signed a five-year ball agreement with Mikasa after previously using Spalding for regular-season and tournament play for a number of years. The Mikasa model is a brand new, leather product, in accordance with national federation rules.

“Personally, I liked the Spalding ball,” said Bergin. “It’s hard to make the transition. You get used to the feel of the ball . . . The label is slippery [on the Mikasa), there are more wrinkles on it than a bulldog.” Bergin is a proponent of using dimpled balls, which many players, particularly boys, use with their club teams.

▪ Plans are in the works to schedule both girls’ championships in the fall and the boys’ championships (spring) at Worcester State University.

▪ NFHS uniform regulations are changing for the 2023-24 season, per officials’ rep Carol Burke said. Numbers on uniforms must clearly contrast with the jersey’s color — an outlined number will not matter going forward. For example, a red jersey with a maroon number, even if outlined in white, would not be permitted under the new guidelines.

▪ Milford AD Peter Boucher was appointed committee chair, with Arria vice-chair, and Hopedale AD Stephanie Ridolfi secretary.

▪ The volleyball committee will meet again, virtually, on Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. to vote on rule change proposals.