A big discussion took place Monday to help determine the future of high school sports.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is your Local Sports Authority.

A big discussion took place Monday to help determine the future of high school sports.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association met Monday to talk about concerns involving equity on a number of levels.

Western Mass News is getting answers about what the future of sports could look like and how local high school coaches are responding.

"We would like the opportunity to work together as a team with the board of directors, with the TMC and the blue ribbon committee, to develop a positive tournament experience for our student-athletes," a member of the MIAA Board of Directors said.

Concerns about the future of high school sports were brought to the table on Monday, where the MIAA Board of Directors held a meeting to discuss certain issues disrupting playoffs for student-athletes.

Last month, the MIAA tournament committee voted to pause all Division 1A tournaments meaning no Super 8s until July 1, 2025. But certain members are concerned about the lack of transparency when taking this vote.

"That's our biggest concern, that we were never given an opportunity to come and voice our opinion on the tournament management committee's proposal on April 14, 2021, which was presented at 10 a.m. It didn't give anyone else that time for this input before a vote of this magnitude," a member of the MIAA Board of Directors said.

Western Mass News asked high school national champion head coach Brian Foley his thoughts on pausing Super 8s.

"For hockey, it's perfect because the reason the whole tournament was established was because there were six, seven, eight teams that were dominant, without the Super 8, realistically, they really wouldn't have a chance. So I think the Super 8 is just as important for the teams that don't qualify as it is for the teams that do," Foley said.

Other concerns regarding gender equity came up at the meeting. Many members pushed to have Division 1A playoffs for girls like the boys do.

Head coach of the Pope Francis girls ice hockey team, Chris Connors, shared his thoughts.

"These Super 8 tournaments, especially the boys' side, they draw a lot of colleges, scouts, prep schools, so I think just the overall excitement, the buzz, I think it would do wonders," Connors said.

These coaches both agree to keep the Super 8s in place for next season and to give girls the same shot at the tournament is a no-brainer.

"It's something to strive for; we talk about goals every day in practice, and at the beginning of the season, what better goal to have than to make the Super 8?” Connors added.

"It's a great tournament, it's nice for goal setting at the beginning of the year. For our program, it's always an annual goal for us to set and it's nice to have team goals like that," Foley said.

A final vote on the future of these Super 8 tournaments whether to either pause them for four years or not did not happen.

A couple of motions did take place Monday, one of them being the motion to temporarily hold off on the Super 8 vote until all sides can have a further discussion, and that came out unanimous.

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(1) comment

mixer48

This makes no sense ! Wrong on so many levels !

LEAVE IT ALONE AND LET THERE BE PLAYOFFS AND A CHAMPION !

Such BS !

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