The MIAA, the governing body for swimming in Massachusetts, emailed all of the states Athletic Directors this afternoon to let them know that their Sectional Qualifiers would, in fact, be allowed their big taper meet after all.
Supported by their swimming brethren from around the country, the Massachusetts swimming community was in an uproar when their Sectional Championships (aka, the sub-State level for high school swimming) were cancelled over the weekend in the wake of an anticipated dump of snow from Winter Storm Nemo. The MIAA said at the time that those swimmers who had already qualified for state would be entered (there’s no direct qualification from Sectionals to State), even though many swimmers were counting on last weekend’s event to hit their taper and earn their qualifying times. That’s despite rescheduling sectional events in other sports that were supposed to be the same weekend.
In a statement today, though, the MIAA told schools that they would allow all swimmers who were entered on Sectional psych sheets to swim at the State Championship meet. It’s not a perfect situation, but given the circumstances, it was the best possible solution that the MIAA could have come up with on short notice.
The concerns forwarded by some of our school leaders in response to the cancellation of Sectional Swim Tournaments have caused further consideration of the conclusions of last Thursday and Friday. With the support of our Swim Committee/Tournament leadership, we will be entering all of your individual swimmers as they were listed on the psych sheets for this past weekend’s Sectional Tournaments. WMass divers have already qualified during the MIAA tournament last Thursday. North and Central-South divers who have achieved one (versus two) state qualifying scores (boys 190; girls 177) will also be entered into the State Tournament.
There will be some questions or concerns related to this decision, but we believe that it is the best manner of providing tournament access to the maximum number of students possible. During the week, we will need your cooperation in some areas; e.g. we will need to limit attendance at the Springfield College site.
Additional information will be forwarded this week as it is developed by our swim leadership.
As the statement says, final details are still being worked out, but for now, swimmers will be able at least take a chance at the State Championship.
The question that remains is that the statement says that swimmers will be entered as they were on psych sheets for Sectional Tournaments. That, however, doesn’t answer the question for swimmers who have multiple State qualifying times, but entered alternate events at Sectionals. A swimmer whose best events are the 200 IM and the 100 fly but who entered the 200 free and 100 back at Sectionals to get more times.
We’ve reached out to get this question answered, though one would assume that several area coaches have already brought this issue up.
We’ll follow up as more details become available.