By Michael Najarian
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association(MIAA) held a board of directors meeting with the MIAA COVID-19 Task Force, in which the task force updated the board of directors on their work throughout the summer, as well as provide some recommendations from the task force regarding the playing of fall sports in 2020.
The MIAA board voted to approve the task force’s recommendation to delay the start of the fall season until September 14. The approval is dependent on the forthcoming Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines regarding fall season youth and K-12 sports.
MIAA Board of Directors president Jeffrey Granatino and Sherry Bryant of the MIAA stressed that although they would love to have fall sports played in partial or full capacity this fall, the health and safety of student-athletes and coaching staff is more important.
Bryant also stressed that returning to school in the fall is more important than playing sports in the fall.
The Co-Chairs of the MIAA COVID-19 Task force, Thom Holdgate and Keith Crowley, said that “the Task Force recommends compliance with joint DESE and EEA guidelines regarding fall sports for youth and K-12 sports seasons.”
The Task Force recommended that the MIAA adopt September 14, 2020 as the start date for fall sports in Massachusetts.
Crowley explained the reason for that is that they want schools to get settled in and adjusted to the new normal of learning this school year before having to worry about practices and games for the various fall sports teams.
A recommendation regarding postseason play for fall sports is coming soon, according to Crowley. They want to focus on at least getting regular season games at the least for fall sports teams before worrying about postseason play. Student Athlete transportation guidelines are also forthcoming, according to Holdgate.
More information regarding the specifics of conducting fall sports will become clearer once the joint guidelines from the DESE and EEA are released, which are expected in the coming weeks.
The MIAA Board of Directors will then review the guidelines and come up with a definitive plan for a possible fall sports season.