MIAA Boys Lacrosse Committee talks margin of victory

One of the major criticisms of the new statewide tournament format is the margin of victory component used to create rankings.

Count the lacrosse coaching communities in that group.

At Thursday’s MIAA Boys Lacrosse Meeting, the topic was brought up very early in the proceedings. Many of the coaches are clearly unhappy with the 10-goal maximum for ratings purposes and would love the opportunity to see that figure decreased down the road. While it is too late to do anything for the 2022 season, the coaches want to see this on the table for next year.

As is the case with several other sports who use a margin of victory component, many school administrators feel it creates a potential situation where they may be less inclined to use reserves in games in order to maintain a better ranking.

“I think the point differential does affect decisions when it comes to getting more kids in,” North Reading athletic director David Johnson said. “I’ve heard stories in basketball where sportsmanship has been compromised in terms of ensuring a victory by the maximum point differential.”

Another issue which came up was the way co-op programs were placed in divisions. Dedham principal Jim Forrest spoke of the Dedham-Norwood co-op in boys lacrosse and felt it was unfair to place them in Div. 1. He pointed to the fact that neither school is a lacrosse power and the latest rankings have them slated around 32 which could land them in a first-round game against top-seed and defending Div. 1 state champion St. John’s Prep.

As for the first statewide tournament, tournament director Dan Brothers said that they had locked up both Babson and Worcester State as venues for the state finals. Traditional venues such as Quincy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, Gillette Stadium, Boston University, Harvard, Bentley and Bridgewater State were not available.

Brothers went on to say that 12 sites had been selected for semifinal contests. He would prefer to wait to see who advances that far before making a decision, preferring to limit travel as much as possible between the two schools.

Barring any last-minute changes due to weather or school-related functions, preliminary round games are scheduled for June 6-7, the first round (Round of 32) on June 6-9, second round (Round of 16) on June 10-12, state quarterfinals (June 13-15), semifinals (June 16-18) and the championships on June 20-22 with a rain date of June 23.