MIAA Board Sets Rules for 'Fall 2,' Opening Possibility of Football
FRANKLIN, Mass. -- The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Directors Friday voted to accept the recommendations of its COVID-19 Task Force for the "Fall 2" sports season that will run from Feb. 22 to April 25.
That means school districts will have the option to offer competitive seasons in football, which was not allowed by the MIAA in the fall. In Berkshire County, where no schools offered competitive seasons in soccer and volleyball, it also will be an option in the Fall 2 window.
School districts that did not offer traditional fall sports like golf and cross country in the autumn will be allowed to offer them during Fall 2.
Representatives of the task force in a virtual meeting presented the modifications that are the result of of sport-specific subcommittee meetings that reviewed the guidelines from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The sport subcommittees drafted the sport-specific moidifications that then were reviewed by the MIAA's Sports Medicine Committee and COVID-19 Task Force before going to the Board of Directors on Friday.
“Today’s actions by the MIAA’s Board of Directors are the culmination of the work of our membership committed to establishing optimal standards of health and safety that will provide the restoration of Fall sports for 1000s of MIAA student-athletes," MIAA Executive Director Bill Gaine said.
These sport-specific modifications will continue to be reviewed as they relate to current regulations surrounding COVID-19 and may be modified if necessary. Additional modifications or the decision to participate in MIAA-recognized Fall 2 sports will be determined by local school districts and/or their local boards of health
The Task Force presentation is available here.
“We made adjustments in the fall and had a success first season," MIAA President Jeffrey Grantino said. "We made additional modifications for the winter and our student-athletes have been actively engaged since December. Now we are hopeful that with the guidance from the governor’s office and of [EOEAA], along with the work of our various committees, that we will be able to have a safe and successful Fall 2 Season.”
An example of modifications includes a requirement that competitors and other personnel wear masks except when taking water breaks, which must be taken with 6 feet of social distance.
All MIAA sport modifications are available on the MIAA COVID-19 webpage here.
The following sports have been approved by the MIAA for the Fall 2 Season: cheerleading, football, indoor track, and Unified basketball. The following sports were approved for the Fall 1 Season, however, local districts may have decided to move them to the Fall 2 Season: cross country, dance, golf, soccer and volleyball.
There will be no MIAA sponsored post-season tournament for the Fall 2 Season.