SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The coronavirus pandemic forced high school swimmers to compete virtually the last season, but now as we inch closer to normalcy, there will be new rule changes for swimmers and divers.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association met Tuesday morning to discuss the future of swimming. Many officials in agreement, said it was a good season with virtual meets despite no state tournament. But now, looking ahead to the fall and winter, new changes are on the horizon.
17 proposals came from the National Federation of State High School Association consisted of eight new rules. Half of those were diving-related. This includes permitting competitors to wear suits providing full-body coverage for religious reasons. The next is new language establishes when diving boards should be open for practice, in between sessions during championships. Another giving the green light for a standing take-off rather than having to do an approach aiming to help divers who can't necessarily do a reverse dive.
"It clarifies that only four parcellations are permitted before the diver leaves the board in diving. The others are basically more administrative in nature, and they'll be in the books which will be out, shortly, I think," MIAA Swimming and Diving Committee Member Peter Foley said.
Another big announcement is that fall and winter sectionals and state tournaments are expected to be held at the Massachusetts Institution of Technology, Boston University, and Springfield College. Officials said they will be checking in with these schools to verify the dates.
However, as tentative dates, they are looking at November 6 and 7 and the 13 and 14 for sectionals. Meanwhile, for states, they're looking at November 20 and 21 this year
As for the wintertime, officials said they're looking to host states and sectionals at the same three venues aiming for this to take place right before February break. Having sectionals on 12 and 13, and states that following weekend of 2022.
This is all a tentative plan and will be looked over by the tournament management committee to come up with official plans for the upcoming season. The MIAA committee will look at this again on June 21.