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Prep Rally

Tournament officials force student athletes to choose between playoffs, SATs

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally
The MIAA determined the 30 miles to Fraser Field in Lynn, Mass.,  was too far for spectators to travel. (thelynninvitational.com)
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The MIAA determined the 30 miles to Fraser Field in Lynn, Mass.,  was too far for spectators to travel. (thelynninvitational.com)

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association refused to reschedule a prep baseball playoff game between two teams with a combined 14 student athletes slated to take the SATs at the same time.

The decision to hold Saturday morning's Division I North semifinal game between Methuen and Chelmsford High comes from an an organization with a self-described mission to "govern, coordinate and promote education based programs for high school students." Except when it conflicts with ticket sales.

According to reports from the Boston Herald and Boston Globe, the athletic directors for both schools requested the MIAA change the originally scheduled game from Thursday to Tuesday this week because of concerns over rainstorms sweeping the Northeast. Naturally, the MIAA refused.

“As athletic directors, we do have to think on our feet at times,” Methuen athletic director Jim Weymouth told the Herald. “Since Andover was playing on Wednesday, it’s only a one-day advantage and it’s really not that big of a deal. They told us if we played on Tuesday, they would have to play the game in Lynn and we would not get a big crowd. I told them people who want to see the game are coming regardless. We played Lynn Classical in football down there and had more than 300 people at the game.”

For the record, Methuen and Chelmsford are roughly 30 miles from Lynn. Sure enough, Thursday's game was postponed — originally to Sunday, and then to 10 a.m. on Saturday — creating two rather significant conflicts. According to the Globe, 11 Chelmsford players and another three from Methuen are scheduled to take the SATs on Saturday morning. Additionally, Chelmsford hosts its graduation ceremony at 4 p.m.

According to the Herald, the MIAA ensures, "in all cases graduation conflicts will be honored." However, the organization refused to budge on Saturday's 10 a.m. start time, forcing players from both teams to choose between a sectional semifinal game or the SATs. While Methuen has reportedly agreed to reimburse student athletes who miss the test, Weymouth told the Globe, "In the end, we are all here for academic reasons. Everyone in the administration is in full support of the players who will take the SATs."

Both schools considered protesting Saturday's game, but reportedly agreed to play the game with or without the players in question. No thanks to the MIAA.

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