Vote on statewide school tournament is set for Feb. 28

john tlumacki/globe staff/Globe Staff

With a yes or a no vote, the future of postseason high school tournaments in Massachusetts will be decided in the auditorium at Assabet Valley Regional Tech in Marlborough Feb. 28.

The MIAA’s Board of Directors called a special meeting of its 380 members to vote on the Statewide Tournament Proposal created by the Tournament Management Committee, the final step of a two-year-plus process to establish consistency and equal paths to state championships in each sport.

At its Dec. 11 meeting, the board voted, 15-0-2, to recommend support for adoption of a statewide tournament. Each school will be represented at the vote by its principal or athletic director.


If approved, a statewide tourney would go into effect for the 2021-22 school year.

“We all know that work is coming,” said MIAA associate director Sherry Bryant, liaison to the TMC. “This vote is on the framework [of the tournament].”

A yes vote means:

■   Tournaments will be conducted in statewide divisional format (vs. current N/S/C/W sections). (Districts/regions/leagues may elect to conduct regional end-of-season tournaments of their own design.)

■   Top 32 teams would qualify based on power rankings; 50 percent tournament qualifying method (for teams with .500 records who are outside of top 32).

■   Teams will be seeded by power rankings (via MaxPreps).

■  Alignments will be established by sport committees using TMC alignment guidelines (see TMC web page). Divisions will not need to be rebalanced following appeals. At the determination of the sport committee, small divisions would qualify 16 vs. 32 teams.

A no vote means:

■  Tournaments will be conducted in balanced sections and divisions (this will mean a geographic shifting to the west in most sports).

■   Current MIAA Handbook qualifying criteria remain in place.

■   Teams will be seeded by power rankings (via MaxPreps).

■   Alignments will be established by sport committees using TMC alignment guidelines (see TMC web page).


Divisions will need to be rebalanced following appeals (i.e. if five schools are granted appeals to move down, then five other schools will be moved up) in order to maintain balance.

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The board has already approved the implementation of MaxPreps power rankings, along with redistricting, for fall 2020, and sport realignments for fall 2021.

On Feb. 28, following registration at 9 a.m., MIAA president Jeff Granatino will call the meeting to order at 9:45. Following a presentation from the TMC, proponents and opponents will be invited to speak in an alternating pattern (limited to 1½ minutes per speech). The vote is scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

In advance of the vote, the TMC is lining up informational Q&A sessions across the state. On Monday, there are sessions scheduled for Woburn High (7 p.m.), Bridgwater-Raynham (7 p.m.), and Algonquin Regional in Northborough (7 p.m.).

Craig Larson can be reached at craig.larson@globe.com