posted at 1/30/2007 11:10 AM EST
A little History lesson. The Super 8 was started in 1991. Back in the 1985-1986 season, the MIAA made a huge blunder, and dropped a bunch of "smaller" Catholic schools to Division 2. This included Matignon, Austin Prep, Arlington Catholic, and Archies. These were very strong Division 1 programs: Matignon had won about 4 or 5 division 1 titles leading up to that year. However, the MIAA consideraed them "small" by population, and the "larger" Catholics, BC, CM, etc. lobbied in favor of the move, thus giving them better footing in Division 1. That year coincides with CM's rise to power. Not that CM wasn't already good, but they were not yet dominant. Players from all over who were going to Matignon gradually started to choose CM-obviously there were exceptions, and Matignon and others remained strong, but come tournament time, CM or BC, and one year Don Bosco, started winning all of the D 1 titles, while Matignon, AP, AC, started winning all of the D-2 titles. In 1991, the Division 1A tournament was formed, also called the Super 8. One reason was to create an elite tournament, and was to correct the imbalance of the Catholic schools dominating the Division 2 tournament. The so-called best 8 including the best Division 2 teams were "invited". D2 teams like , Matignon, Arlington Catholic, Acton-Boxboro, were invited in the early years if they were good enough. A few years later, these schools were elevated to Division 1. The format of the super 8 has changed many times in its short history, indicating its obvious flaws. First it was strict double-elimination, then double elimination with a single elimination final, then a round robin tournament. At some point it became a 10 team field with a "play-in" round. Bill Hanson, the CM coach, has publicly stated that he would like to see the 1A tournament be a single-elimination format for the excitement and upsets that are generated. He feels this way, even though the "second-chance" that the current format allows favors a strong team like his. BC High has appealed to the MIAA many times after losing to CM in the single elimination final, having to beat them twice in the previous double elimination format, and getting bumped out of the final round after tiebreaking procedures were applied in the first round robin format. MIAA-PICK A FORMAT AND STICK WITH IT. HAVE A 1A TOURNAMENT WITH THE BEST 8 TEAMS AND MAKE IT SINGLE ELIMINATION. DO NOT HAVE A PLAY IN THAT ALLOWS TEAMS TO LOSE IN TOURNEY PLAY, AND THEN PLAY IN A LOWER DIVISION.