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Hoping for the return of the Super 8 tournament? You’ll have to wait until 2025, if at all.

BC High won the last two Division 1A tournaments in 2018 (pictured) and 2019.Jim Davis

FRANKLIN — Halfway through a four-year waiting period before the potential return of a Division 1A tournament, the appetite for its resumption remains strong among MIAA ice hockey committee members.

While a Division 1A tournament, often referred to as the Super 8, cannot be considered — in ice hockey or any other sport — until July 1, 2025, per a settlement involving the MIAA Blue Ribbon Committee and the state Office of Civil Rights, the collection of data supporting its return for boys’ hockey and expansion to the girls’ game is already underway.

Meeting at MIAA offices on Friday morning, the ice hockey committee welcomed Burlington athletic director Shaun Hart, chairman of the MIAA tournament management committee (TMC), for a discussion on further steps that can be taken.


“There is a gap in competitive equity that can’t be ignored, and the data will back that up,” Framingham athletic director Paul Spear said, speaking in support of a return, and expansion, of 1A tournaments.

Hart reiterated that the original document calling for the suspension of 1A tournaments would require four years of data collection, but that TMC decided it wanted to be able to have some documentation two years in. TMC can only re-establish a 1A tournament if specific criteria are met, Hart said, including a “pattern of dominance by a specific group of schools.”

Needham girls hockey coach Allisyn Furano-Foster, a proponent of expanding 1A tournaments, asked whether or not the “pattern of dominance” would be considered simply within the four-year window of 2021-25, or back decades.

“Things change over time,” Furano-Foster said. “We have juniors now. We have things that are drawing our players out of public high school. The idea of limiting it to just the last four years doesn’t seem clear.”

If it returned, the Division 1A tournament would have to meet all MIAA and TMC format rule policies. This would mean single elimination; through various formats over the years, the 1A boys’ hockey tournament played a modified double-elimination format, as well as Olympic-style pool play and a best-of-three opening-round series.


“We built consistency throughout every single point,” Hart said. “It doesn’t matter what division you’re in; my kids work equally as hard as your kids to attain what they attain. Why does somebody else get more than my kid working the exact same length of time for the exact same achievements.”

Arlington Catholic athletic director Dan Shine asked why a 1A tournament couldn’t differ from regular statewide tournaments, noting not all NCAA tournaments are run in the same fashion.

“Why can’t it be different?” Shine asked “Why can’t it be double-elimination? Why is there so much concern about one group playing in a much larger venue than another? Why does it have to be the same criteria for selection?”

A subcommittee of ice hockey committee members will be formed to further investigate the potential return of the 1A tournament, which ran from 1990-2020 in boys’ hockey and from 2014-19 in baseball.

In other news:

▪ Shine was unanimously reelected as chairman of the committee. Bob Ware, dean of students at Westford Academy, was selected as vice chair and St. John’s (Shrewsbury) athletic director and boys’ hockey coach Mike Mead was selected as secretary.

▪ The MIAA ice hockey committee appears poised to take control of scheduling tournament venues beginning with the state quarterfinals beginning with the coming season following capacity issues at several sites last winter. A final decision will be made by TMC in the weeks ahead.


▪ Discussion continued on the implementation of a running clock for games which reach a predetermined margin of goals prior to the final whistle. The ice hockey committee would like to see a running clock added for games which reach a margin of seven goals at any point, rather than the NFHS guidelines of 10 goals entering or during the second period, or six goals entering or during the third period.

▪ On Thursday, the MIAA will hold a ceremony naming one of its conference rooms in honor of former executive director Bill Gaine, who retired in 2021 after 42 years. The ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m.

▪ The ice hockey committee is next scheduled to meet virtually on Jan. 30, 2024.