MIAA Meeting Packages, Tournament Formats, Tech Issues & More
Everyone is hoping COVID-19 cancellations in high school sports can be kept to a minimum this fall. But any disruption to the MIAA schedule will not result in a forfeit.
Matches that are postponed due to COVID issues, either for one team or for both teams, and which cannot be rescheduled before the playoff deadlines will be recorded as without competition, with neither team benefiting nor being punished in terms of power, the MIAA tournament management committee ruled on Wednesday.
Following: HS FOOTBALL: Find all of our pre-season coverage to get you ready for the year here
If not playing the game negatively impacts a team’s qualifying for the playoffs, that team may appeal to each sport’s MIAA Playoff Ranking Committee and request permission to participate in the playoffs. playoffs. Appeals cannot be based on the impact of a COVID non-competition on the ranking of a team that has already qualified.
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Ratings are being introduced for all sports to determine qualifiers and rankings for the playoffs as the MIAA moves to a new statewide playoff system this school year.
For most sports, except football, the top 32 teams from each division in the state advance to the playoffs. Additionally, any team outside of the top 32 that finishes with at least a .500 record enters, although those teams will have to go through the qualifying rounds to enter the main 32-team bracket.
If, for example, a soccer team finishes a match below 0.500 while losing a match due to a COVID non-contest, they can ask the soccer selection committee to include them among the additional 0.500 qualifiers. or better.
There is no component of 0.500 or better for the football playoffs, which will only include the top 16 teams per division. The tournament management committee has however made a change to the structure of the football playoffs, endorsing last spring’s football committee recommendation that teams must win at least three games to qualify. Football has an eight-week regular season under this new format, with teams having the option of playing seven games and taking a week off.
Matches that cannot be played this fall due to a team’s non-COVID actions (suspensions due to violations of MIAA rules, etc.) will be recorded as forfeits, using the victory margin factor. maximum that had been previously set. by the TMC. For example, a football forfeit would be considered a 14 point win for one team and a 14 point loss for the other. A football forfeit would be recorded as a three-goal win (and a three-goal loss).
The tournament management committee went back and forth on the issue of the lack of contests for games impacted by COVID. Several members were initially in favor of using the forfeit rules if one team were to withdraw from a game but the other was ready to go.
“You have to emphasize (the fact) that you have to do your best to play the game as planned,” said Jeff Newhall, St. Mary’s athletic director (Lynn). “You can’t just say, (Player X) is our best running back and he can’t play so we’re out. You have to move on without him. If there was a penalty attached to that. , there might be more than one accent to get into the game. … If Lynn English is due to play Friday night at 7 p.m. and we just can’t do it, (Lynn English) shouldn’t be penalized for that, in my opinion. “
Wellesley AD John Brown offered a compromise in which the team that did not have a COVID issue would be awarded a forfeit victory, but the team affected by COVID would be credited with a no-contest.
Committee chairman Jim O’Leary (St. John’s Prep) countered that awarding a win to one team without forcing a loss to the other team would not work in the power rating formula, pointing out that the committee had removed exclusion matches for the same reason. “For it to work properly,” he said, “every game has to count or it has to be a no-contest because of COVID. Middle doesn’t work for math.”
Eventually, MIAA liaison Sherry Bryant came up with the compromise that was ultimately passed by a 14-0 vote – a compromise that avoids tinkering with the power odds formula and allows for adjustments to the playoff field to be made. the end of the regular season.
“It’s the cleanest way,” O’Leary said.
Playoff formats set for fall
The TMC has approved playoff formats for fall sports. Among the highlights:
*** Cross Country will have three divisions statewide. Each divisional state run, for boys and girls, will be split into three separate waves based on the number of school registrations. This will keep each race under 200 participants.
*** Boys ‘field hockey is now offered as a sport, but no school has registered a boys’ team with the MIAA, so there will be no tournament for it.
*** Boys’ swimming / diving and golf are classified as’ hybrid ‘sports and still operate under the old section-based playoff format, although TMC will look into this further at its next meeting on the 15th. September.
*** The TMC has changed the tie-breaking rules for the playoffs for all sports. The first tiebreaker remains head-to-head; the second is now the average of the power ratings of a team’s opponents. Previously it was a winning percentage against common opponents.
Technical problems complicate schedules
The MIAA is aware that many ADs have encountered issues with Arbiterlive.com, which is the new official platform for capturing game results. This is a big deal because DAs have to keep track of their game score recording or the real-time power rating system will not work properly.
“People are not really happy with some of the things that are going on,” Brown said. “It is a concern that people are not able to get their schedules correctly.”
Bryant said the MIAA is in constant contact with Arbiterlive.com employees, including the CEO of the company.
“We know there is a learning curve,” Bryant said of the company tailoring its system to the needs of the MIAA. “We know there is a certain transition (time frame) for things to be built for us, and that COVID hasn’t helped… That being said, we collectively have a level of expectation and need for our fall season. Just yesterday we went through our list of these things that need to be done. (Arbiter) is doing (one) hand on deck (approaching) to get those much-needed fixes. “
Bryant said an email was being sent to member schools on Wednesday to address the need for compliance in team naming conventions on Arbiter. For example, she said, schools cannot use “mixed football” even if there are girls playing on the team because it will not be in sync with other schools which rank their. teams like “boys football”.