The MIAA Realignment For Basketball Is The Dumbest Thing The MIAA Has Ever Done, And They’ve Done Lots Of Dumb ThingsYour attention please – the Turtleboy Sports Facebook page has been suspended until Tuesday, March 22. In order to follow the blogs you MUST like the Free Turtleboy Facebook page, which we use to post blogs whenever the Turtleboy Sports Facebook account is arbitrarily suspended. If we ever get shut down for good, this will become the new Turtleboy Sports main Facebook page.
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The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) is the most useless organization that has ever existed. All they do is steal money from schools and arbitrarily student athletes from athletic competition. Like that time when they refused to reschedule the district championship baseball game between Methuen and Chelmsford even though half of both teams had to take the SAT’s during the game. Or that time when they suspended two Beverly High School lacrosse players after a photo surfaced of them smoking a cigar with their fathers at graduation. Oh yea, and their executive director pays himself a salary of $213,000 a year, which of course if financed by the member schools who have no choice but to join the MIAA.
They also are in charge of putting together the district championship tournaments for all member schools. For years the Central, Western and Eastern Massachusetts basketball championships were something that kids really looked forward to. Rivals squared off to to see who would emerge and represent their region in the state championship tournament. It was something with continuity and tradition that worked perfectly fine.
Naturally then the MIAA had to blow it all up.
Three years ago the MIAA decided to realign how district basketball tournaments would be drawn up. Basically coaches in Eastern MA were whining that there were too many schools out there and it was harder for them to reach the state tournament than it was for Central and Western MA teams. This coming from the people who DO NOT have to pay tolls on the Mass Pike and think that everything west of 495 is Siberia. Either way it’s a stupid opinion to have because the goal for any team is to win the state championship, so some way or another they’d have to go through the best teams in the east to get there.
Anyway, I wanna show you some of the brackets in this year’s tournament just to show you how dumb the MIAA is. Here is the Central Mass Division 1 bracket:
Framingham, Westford Academy, and Franklin not Central Mass schools. No one plays these teams all year round. Kids have no idea where these towns are. There is no rivalry and geographically it makes zero sense. Westford won the D1 tourney last year and Franklin was a finalist the year before. In a Central Mass region that they are not a part of.
Meanwhile here is the Western Mass D1 bracket:
One of those schools is not like the others. What the hell is Leominster doing in Western MA? How does that make any sense? As you can clearly see on this map, Fitchburg is northwest of Leominster:
Yet had Fitchburg qualified for the districts, they would have been in Central Mass, while Leomisnter would go west. Because that makes TONS of sense.
Here is the Central Mass D2 bracket:
You know how many teams on that list are Central Mass teams? 4.5. They keep jerking around Milford every year, throwing them from Central to Eastern and back to Central Mass. But Concord-Carlisle, Hopkinton, Holliston, and Medway? None of those schools are Central Mass.
Meanwhile here’s the Western Mass D2 bracket:
Six teams, and THREE of them are from Central Mass. Pittsfield almost touches New York state. It’s an hour and a half ride at least from Dudley (Shepherd Hill) and probably even further from Barre (Quabbin). Sheperd Hill and Tantasqua have really good teams this year, and it would be fun to see what they could do against your Holy Name’s and St. Johns’ of the world. But instead fans get to watch the legendary, nonexistent rivalry between Shepherd Hill and Taconic. Because that makes TONS of sense.
Oh yea, and another school that is WEST of Shepherd Hill is Southbridge. But yet here they are in the Central Mass D4 bracket:
Oh and here’s another one of my favorites, Western MA D2 Girls:
North Middlesex is the 4 seed in the Western MA tournament. NM consists of the towns of Pepperell, Townsend and Ashby. Once again, here is a map of Central Massachusetts:
The school is right on the Townsend-Pepperell line. You will notice that Pepperell is 10-15 miles EAST of Fitchburg and even further east from Holden (Wachusett). Yet those schools are in Central Mass, and North Middlesex is in Eastern MA. Stellar job MIAA. Stellar.
Anyway, we’ve talked to some coaches and players about this, and they all hate it. Parents hate it. Athletic directors hate it. Literally everyone hates it except for some butthurt loser schools in Eastern MA who are sick of their lunch money being taken from them by Brookline and Mansfield. But the MIAA in their infinite wisdom has come to the conclusion that this makes sense.
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