From a message sent to Principals and Athletic Directors from the Association's Executive Director
The need, perhaps unprecedented, to cancel the MIAA Sectional Swim Tournaments deserves explanation. Consideration was given to many elements before such a difficult decision was made.
The bottom line to this decision is the safety of students, and there is no way we could ensure their safety on Thursday when this decision had to be made. We are mindful that power outages could make it impossible to communicate with you this weekend if we needed to do so. There still is (on Friday morning) no assurance that any event could be safely conducted this weekend, given the enormity of the storm predictions.
While considering this challenge, the option of postponing the Sectional and State Meets by a week was explored. Problems presented as that avenue was pursued, included the unavailability of sites for the second weekend, and the recognition that high school teams without school pools would be at a disadvantage during that extended week because their contracted pool time would have ended, and they would not have access to practice.
Consideration was given to inviting all Sectional qualifiers to participate in the State Championships. As that option was considered, it was clear that the logistics presented could not be overcome. During this winter season, more than 1,000 students already have achieved their State qualifying standard and will participate next weekend, making the addition of 100s of students impractical.
Thought was given to inviting seniors who only had qualified for the Regionals, but not the State Championships. Because qualifying times in different regions are markedly different, this was not a fair option.
Consideration for allowing some state qualifying competition to occur at a school level, or other local activity was seen to be unfair to those student athletes who would not have such an additional opportunity. On the other hand, the Association encourages such local competitions for students who did not have the opportunity to participate in the MIAA regional tournaments this weekend (with the above understanding that these activities are not state championship qualifying events).
With regard to Springfield College and a possible Sunday event, there was no assurance that the lack of parking could be overcome, with the shuttle bus company reporting that they may not be allowed on the road Sunday, given the potential seriousness of the storm. We also are aware that some school districts have cancelled all activities through Sunday, making Sunday participation not an option for those students.