Massachusetts High School Sports Switching To Statewide Playoff System

MARLBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Change is coming to high school sports in Massachusetts, as the current regional playoff format is being replaced by a statewide tournament.

The decision was passed by a 193-140 vote in Medford Friday, as the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association gathered athletic directors and principals in Marlboro.

Sherri Bryant, Associate Director of the MIAA, told WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman she is thrilled.

"We know we have lots of work to continue to keep doing, but that this is step one to something really new and exciting for our student athletes," she said.

There are athletic directors who aren't in favor of the new format, though—like Allison Jordan of Granby High School.

"I just feel like the whole Western Mass area is short-changed," she said. "We're at a complete disadvantage."

Many of those against the proposal were concerned about the long distances student athletes would have to travel, but Jared Shannon, Athletic Director at Wakona High School in the Berkshires, says this is nothing new.

"We have a school under the current system in our Western Region that's travelling about two hours and fifteen minutes by bus for a quarter-final game under the current system.

Derek Florian, who is on the tournament committee, said it was time for something new for student athletes.

"As a competitive team, you appreciate that element that higher-ranking teams are spread around in different brackets, and that final state championship will be a true state championship," he said.

The new tournament will be installed for the 2021-2022 school year.

WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports

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