The era of sectional tournaments in Massachusetts is, for now, over. But the athletic directors of schools in the four Western Massachusetts counties have worked to have a Western Mass. event.

The members of District 1, the newly reformed Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference, will be holding eight-team tournaments in four divisions to crown Western Mass. champions in soccer, volleyball and field hockey. Berkshire County schools, of course, don't play field hockey. The seeds for these eight-team tournament are scheduled to be announced Saturday.

"The athletic directors in District 1 have worked diligently to continue the great tradition of the Western Mass. Tournament. In order to continue with the tradition, a few adjustments were implemented to the schedules this year," a release from the PVIAC read. "In team sports, schools will reduce their regular season schedules by 2 games to enable the last week of the regular season to be the tournament week for WMass Championships."

For the purpose of this Western Mass. tournament structure, the 54 high school soccer teams for boys and girls, and 45 volleyball teams have been divided up into four classes. Berkshire County boys and girls soccer teams and volleyball teams can be found in Class B, C and D.

The top eight teams in each class will be seeded for the tournament. Quarterfinals in soccer will take place on Monday, Oct. 25, with semifinals set for Wednesday, Oct. 27. The Western Mass. championship games will be on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Volleyball quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 26, with semifinals on Thursday, Oct. 28 and the championships on Oct. 30.

According to the most recent rankings published on the PVIAC website, six boys soccer teams would qualify for the Western Mass. Tournament. Eight girls soccer teams would make the tournaments, while six different volleyball teams would play for a Western Mass. title.

If the Western Mass. tournaments were to begin today, in boys soccer Monument Mountain would be the No. 6 seed and Wahconah No. 7 in Class B. The Class C top eight includes fifth-seeded McCann Tech, seventh-seeded Taconic and eighth-seeded Mount Greylock. In Class D, Hoosac would be the No. 4 seed.

In girls soccer, Monument would be the only county team in Class B. In Class C, Drury would be No. 2, Greylock No. 3 and McCann Tech No. 4. And in Class D, Lenox would be second, followed by No. 3 Mount Everett, seventh-seeded Lee and No. 8 Hoosac Valley.

Monument Mountain would be the top seed in Class B volleyball, with Wahconah ranked seventh. In Class C, Taconic would be the fifth seed, while Lee is No. 1 in Class D, with Lenox fifth and Mount Everett sixth.

According to the release from the PVIAC: "The Western Mass. Tournament will precede the state tournament. If a team qualifies for the Western Mass. tournament and loses a game they may still be a participant in the state tournament, which follows the Western Mass tournament week. A school might not be ranked high enough to compete in the WMass Tournament, but they may still qualify for the Statewide Tournament."

Howard Herman can be reached at or 413-496-6253. 


Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.