The MIAA is one step closer to both a state football playoff system and expanding its fourth division for its state basketball system.
Two MIAA committee votes in the past two days have moved the state football proposal to the MIAA board of directors for a June 7 vote. The association's Football Committee supported the proposal by a vote of 15-2 on Wednesday, and the Tournament Management Committee voted 10-4 on Thursday to support the proposal.
The Tournament Management Committee also voted in favor of expanding Division IV boys and girls basketball to include all of Massachusetts, beginning in 2013. Currently, Division IV is an Eastern Mass.-only division. The TMC's vote was 13-0 with one abstention.
Football Committee District G Representative Dayne Poirot, Hoosac Valley's co-athletic director and new football coach, feels the football proposal in its current form has a much better chance for approval than the proposal voted down two years ago.
Still, his optimism is tempered by what he's been told in many committee meetings over the last year.
"I know the [board of directors] made it very clear to everybody that they were going to take all of these as advisory votes, not as any type of final decision, when it got to them," Poirot said.
The current football proposal would establish a state championship system in six divisions throughout Massachusetts, with Western Mass. schools participating in four of those divisions. It would also maintain current leagues and Thanksgiving Day games throughout the state, which the 2010 proposal did not.
Western Mass. alignments in the proposed system were set up by Poirot, Athol athletic director Dave King, Western Mass. football tournament director Joe Doyle, and athletic directors from each league in the section.
For more, read Friday's Eagle.