Last Wednesday, the MIAA Football Committee met and Milton head coach Steve Dembowski proposed a new plan, which is very similar to what Connecticut has done for the past decade with great success.
In Dembowski's plan, he suggests:
Schools can schedule 10 games in 12 weeks, and two byes must be taken, one between weeks 4-6 and another on either week 11 or 12 which would end the regular season on Thanksgiving.
The top eight teams in each division would qualify for the playoffs. The quarterfinal rounds would be moved back to be played on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, followed by the semifinals on Sunday and the Super Bowl on the following Friday or Saturday.
“The (Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association) wants Thanksgiving to matter, we have a postseason tournament and no consolation games,” Dembowski was quoted saying in the Boston Herald. “We also feel that selecting the top eight teams out of 35 (in the division) is very fair.”
Committee member Ryan Conway, the football coach at Boston English/New Mission, says this would be a win-win as the Thanksgiving Day games would be important again.
“People still show up for the Thanksgiving Day games,” said Conway. “People don’t show up for the consolation games, our kids aren’t showing up for those games. So we need for Thanksgiving to be relevant again.”
One of the biggest concerns with this plan is to return to playing the semi-final games on Tuesday, just five days after Turkey Day Games. That means teams that win the quarterfinal games and advance to the semi-finals will be playing three games in nine days.
According to the Herald, Stoneham Athletic Director David Pignone said reaction in the district which he represents to the new football proposal was not favorable. The Herald also stated that “The committee agreed the best avenue was to send out both proposals to its constituents and gauge what they prefer and report back to the next football committee meeting in January."
The MIAA Basketball Committee also met and while the MIAA awaits word from the state and the Governor to see if the winter season will be played, several new rule proposals
Those include: the shot clock would reset to 15 seconds after a kicked or fisted ball if under 15 seconds when the infraction occurs, and not reset if at 15 seconds or more. The current rule resets to 30 seconds, which can penalize the defense, especially late in games, according to the proposal, which was recommended by a 15-1-1 vote;
The next proposal was to “adjust the rule regarding five-second calls on closely guarded players in the frontcourt. Currently, players holding or dribbling the ball can be whistled, while the new proposal would eliminate dribbling players from the rule. It passed by a 17-0 vote.”
A third proposal would increase the amount of quarters per day a player is eligible to compete in from four to six. This rule was implemented in the Merrimack Valley Conference, initially by TMHS Athletic Director Ron Drouin, as a pilot program last year and received positive feedback. This allows JV players to play six quarters in a day which would help continue their development.
The committee recommended the proposal 17-0 and has asked the MIAA Board of Directors to consider allowing it to be used for the 2020-21 season.
The final basketball proposal would be a 10-second backcourt violation called in the girls' game and not just in the boys' game.The committee recommended it by a 16-1 vote.
According to the Herald, these votes are just the first of a multi-step process for new rules proposals to be officially approved. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Council has the final say on June 1, 2021.
MACDONALD MAKES ALL-DECADE TEAM
The Herald also released its All-Decade softball team and Wilmington resident Logan MacDonald was among those selected to the "Part 2" team. Her write-up in the story said, "A three-time Boston Herald All-Scholastic, MacDonald guided the Cougars to the Div. 3 state final as a sophomore, going 22-3, striking out 240, with ten shutouts and an ERA under 1.00. She was just as dominant as a junior, posting a 0.46 ERA with ten shutouts and 202 strikeouts in 122 innings.
As a senior, MacDonald won a third straight Catholic Central League MVP award as she went 19-0, ending with a 72-16 with a 1.26 ERA and 887 strikeouts in 582 innings.
“MacDonald is a junior at Babson College where she has made nine appearances.”