WESTFIELD – The show must go on.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Board of Directors voted unanimously 19-0 Monday to delay the high school sports spring season’s start date to May 4, essentially saving the season.
This decision was made based on the current COVID-19 federal guidelines which are scheduled to end on April 30. The motion also called for all regular season and tournament games to be completed by June 28.
Initially, the MIAA had delayed the start of the high school sports spring season to March 30 with an additional 10 days of practice needed prior to the first game of the season due to the coronavirus outbreak. As state and federal “stay-at-home” orders were issued and extended, the MIAA followed suit, again delaying the start date to April 27. That has been pushed again.
“I like that we are still holding out hope, waiting to see how it plays out,” said Westfield High School athletic coordinator Ryan Dunphy, who has continuously voiced his support for the MIAA’s willingness to keep extending the start date rather than scrap the season. “There is no rush to cancel … (as it) would take a lot longer to set everything up.”
Every local high school sports team would be allowed 8-12 regular season games under the new rules.
The MIAA also unanimously approved a decision to institute a seven-day practice period prior to the start of games. That is three days less than the original plan.
The board is also seeking tournament structure recommendations from the Tournament Management Committee with an April 9 deadline.
“If it’s safe to return, when the time comes, it would be nice to see the kids salvage their season,” Dunphy said.