On Tuesday morning, the MIAA Football Committee met to discuss the 2020 season – which will take place in the Fall-2 season in 2021.
As of today, if everything goes to plan, the first day of high school football practice will be February 22nd. That was made official, while details on how many games would be played and if there's a possibility of a post-season tournament were put off, and will most likely be decided after the next meeting which is scheduled for October 14th.
One possibility which was talked about briefly would allow teams to begin conditioning a week before February 22nd, which would be during February school vacation. That would potentially lead to a seven-game regular season and perhaps two post-season games, whether regional or statewide.
"I would like to see something similar to this," said Stoneham athletic director and football committee member Dave Pignone to the Boston Herald's Danny Ventura. "I don't know if a state-wide playoff would fly right now, though I'd be in favor of it. I'd like to see us play five or six games, qualify eight teams and have a regional tournament and/or possibly a Super Bowl."
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs would have to approve any plan that's put on the table. Several athletic directors and coaches at the meeting, according to the Herald, expressed their disappointment in not playing right now, knowing that 35 other states in the country are allowing high school football to be played during this fall season.
Also discussed on Tuesday is the 2021 playoff format. The current format consists of eight divisions and an eight-game regular season in which the top 16 teams would qualify for the playoffs.
According to the Herald, Milton head coach Steve Dembowski is hoping that the state football coaches association has some input into changing that format.
"We would prefer a plan in which postseason games would begin after Thanksgiving. When we surveyed our coaches, that's what they wanted. The consolation games haven't worked out as well as they had hoped. It's been for the teams who don't make the playoffs, but for those who make the playoffs and lose (then have to play 1-2 non-qualifying games before Thanksgiving) it's been tough."
Besides the meeting, Jim Clark of the Boston Globe tweeted that with the new statewide state tournament to start next year which will include eight divisions, led by MIAA Deputy Director Richard Pearson, a proposal for new alignments for each of the divisions will be presented.
Under the proposed alignments, both Tewksbury and Wilmington would compete in Division 4 and Shawsheen would be in Division 5.
Along with Tewksbury and Wilmington in D4 could potentially be: Gr. Lowell, Gr. New Bedford, Monty Tech, Puntnam Voc, Wakefield, Duxbury, Melrose, Canton, Burlington, Longmeadow, Scituate, Nashoba Regional, Nauset Regional, Salem, Danvers, Dracut, Grafton, Ludlow, Tewksbury, Holliston, Bedford, Falmouth, Wayland, East Longmeadow, Charlestown, Ashland, Malden Catholic, High School of Commerce, Pembroke, Medfield, North Middlesex Regional, Foxboro, Dighton-Rehobeth and Newburyport.
Along with Shawsheen (and Austin Prep) in D5, could potentially be: Gr. Lawrence Tech, Essex Tech, Worcester Tech, South Regional Voc Tech, Diman Voc, Bristol-Plymouth Regional, Middleboro, Hanover, Gloucester, Pittsfield, Pentucket Regional, Old Rochester, North Reading, Auburn, Apponequet, Groton-Dunstable Regional, Needham, Norton, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional, Swampscott, Fairhaven, Martha’s Vineyard, Belchertown, Saugus, Hudson, Triton Regional, Watertown, Dover-Sherborn Regional, Maynard, Boston English, Tech Boston, Bishop Fenwick and Austin Prep.
If the proposals are granted, this would mean if any of the local teams qualify for the state tournament, they could face any of the respective teams at any point of the bracket.