MIAA BOD Provides A Glimmer Of Hope For High School Student-Athletes

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High school soccer will occur this fall, but it will look different. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Credit is due to not just the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Board of Directors and Covid-19 Task Force, but everyone that has been working tirelessly these past few months to provide our state’s high school student-athletes with some sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times.

Wednesday’s unanimous decision by the MIAA Board of Directors to accept plans for a four-season model by the Covid-19 Task Force, including the opportunity to play football next February, should be seen as a positive. But as we know, there is still a lot of work to be done as we inch closer to the official start of a new fall season, which will look quite different than years past.

As of today, the 2020 fall sports season will begin Monday, September 18 for the following sports: soccer, gymnastics, cross-country, field hockey, girl’s volleyball, swimming and diving, and golf. And just to be clear, the start date listed above means practices, not games.

Each contest, match, and meet will look quite different. And that is because we’re living in pandemic so don’t be surprised if the soccer committee completely rewrites the rules we’re accustomed to like header, throw-ins, and slide tackles, so every participant, including coaches and officials, can feel safe on the pitch.

Modifications for each sport, which are due next Tuesday, August 25, must aline with the state’s current guidelines for Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities established by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

According to Jim Clark of the Boston Globe, the Covid-19 Task Force will review the modifications and tweaks submitted by each sport’s committee next week “for final consideration by (Jeff) Granatino and MIAA executive director Bill Gaine by Sept. 1.”

As we anxiously await for future announcements – and yes, news and notes on Twitter – I feel it is best to stop and appreciate the hard work by these men and women, who have provided our state’s student-athletes with the hope of better days to come with a return to play format.

Yes, there is still a slew of questions that need to be answered with a new fall sports season on the horizon. There will also be new wrinkles to the current plan in place, too, but as we learned last week from our friend in Connecticut, the current situation is fluid and things could change because of the coronavirus.

But for now, our state has plans in place for a brand new high school sports season, which should put a smile on everyone’s face. And while the upcoming school year and yes, athletic year, too, will be rather unique, it will be a story many of us will be eager to tell our children and grandchildren when questions about the coronavirus pandemic are brought up in the future. And as someone that loves to tell stories, I will be excited – is excited the right word? – to share my experience.

MIAA, RIIL Cancels Spring Sports

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Four New England states have canceled high school spring sports. (VISUALHUNT.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island joined Maine and New Hampshire by canceling its state’s spring high school sports season this afternoon.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) both shared this news on their respective Twitter accounts.

Both states are abiding by the advice of Governors Charlie Baker and Gina Raimondo, who have ordered both Massachusetts and Rhode Island to conclude their respective academic schools years online, not in-person.

Connecticut has not canceled its spring sports season, but the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced yesterday they will “not run any spring state championship events.” The CIAC could, however, have a regular-season in June, but that would only occur if schools reopen. Connecticut is not scheduled to reopen until May 20.

The Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) will make an announcement regarding its spring sports season on Thursday, April 30.

Maine and New Hampshire announced the cancelations of its states’ spring sports season earlier this month.

Springs Sports In Massachusetts Will Most Likely Not Happen

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Could Massachusetts see a high school spring sports season? (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualhunt.com)

By Matt Noonan

With yesterday’s announcement by Governor Charlie Baker regarding schools remaining online (and remote) for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19, it seems most likely that a spring high school sports season will not occur. But an official announcement has not yet been made by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) as of late this morning.

Hours after Baker’s announcement of both private and public schools remaining closed for the remainder of the academic school year, the MIAA tweeted the following yesterday afternoon: “Difficult news received from Governor Baker today. A formal MIAA BOD statement regarding the status of 2020 spring sports will be provided by weeks end.”

While high school athletic directors, coaches, and student-athletes, as well as fans, eagerly await an official announcement from the MIAA, it seems most likely that Massachusetts will become the third New England state to cancel its spring sports season like Maine and New Hampshire did earlier this month.

Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont have not canceled its spring high school sports seasons, but perhaps yesterday’s news by Baker could result in more cancelations across the region, along with schools not being open until possibly next fall.

The MIAA canceled its basketball and hockey winter championships last month, naming both state finalists as co-champions.

Daily Noontime: Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Thursday – it is also the second day of April, which is somewhat exciting, right?

Sadly, today will be an indoor day due to the rain, but we must ALL stay indoors as much as possible to continue to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Let’s brighten the day (and everyone’s mood) with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – have a wonderful day, everyone!


Noontime’s Headlines for Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 


Noontime’s Latest Post: I wrote a column – well, more a commentary piece on whether the NFL should or should not press the pause button after the NFL Draft. I also shared some thoughts on video, too. 


On this Date in History 

  • 1931: Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year old girl, struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition baseball contest at Engel Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • 1984: John Thompson leads Georgetown University to an 84-75 win over Houston in the NCAA Championship game. Thompson becomes the first African-American coach to win a collegiate championship.
  • 2001: New York Yankees pitcher (and former Boston Red Sox hurler, too) Roger Clemens becomes the American League, all-time strikeout leader, recording his 3,509th strikeout in a 7-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone – how is everyone doing?

From a quick glance outside the window, it appears as if the sun is shining, which is something positive to report, right?

Yes, it will be a bit cold today, so if you do wander out of your home, condo or apartment (or wherever you’re hunkering down these days), please bundle up and wear an extra hat.

And now, let’s get to some news (and links) to start your day!


Noontime’s Headlines for Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 


Noontime’s Recent Links!


On this Date in History 

  • 1973: Bobby Orr becomes the first player in NHL history to record 100 points in four-straight seasons.
  • 1990: Joe Sakic becomes the youngest player in NHL history to record 100 points when he scored a goal in a 3-2 loss to the Hartford Whalers.
  • 1994: The Chicago White Sox assigned former NBA (and Chicago Bulls) superstar Michael Jordan to their Class AA affiliate the Birmingham Barons.
  • 1997: Arizona beat Kentucky, 84-79 (OT), in the 59th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to secure the program’s first national title.
  • 2002: The University of Connecticut women’s basketball captured the 21st NCAA Championship – the Huskies beat Oklahoma, 82-70, and finished their season 39-0.
  • 2002: Andre Agassi won his 700th career match by beating Roger Federer in the Nasdaq-100 Open in Florida.