The MIAA announced this morning that it has denied an appeal filed by Medway High School Principal Richard Pearson after the Medway/Ashland girls' hockey co-op team lost 3-1 to Winthrop, in a Division 1 Preliminary Round game at Larsen Rink on Wednesday night.
During the game, a man was removed from the building for trying to distract the Medway goalie with a laser pointer, and has since been barred from all future Winthrop athletic events. The score was tied 1-1 at the time of the man's removal, and Winthrop went on to win 3-1.
In letter to Pearson from MIAA Deputy Director Bill Gaine, which was forwarded to members of the Boston area media, the appeal denial is explained:
Please be advised the MIAA is in receipt of your letter of appeal of the final results of the Medway vs. Winthrop Girls’ Ice Hockey game played February 29, 2012. While your advocacy for the Girls’ Ice Hockey team is appreciated and the extenuating circumstances you cite respected, Association members schools are obliged to honor the standards of the National Sport Code adopted by the membership. MIAA Girls’ Ice Hockey is governed by National Federation Ice Hockey Rules.
Section 3, Article a. of the National Federation Ice Hockey Rules reads, in part related to your appeal: “The referees shall have jurisdiction over the game upon entry on the ice prior to the game until the ice is cleared of contestants after the game. The referees shall enforce all rules and shall rule on situations not specifically covered by rule. In case of any dispute, the decision of the referees shall be final and there shall be no appeal.
Accordingly, the MIAA affirms that the decision of the referees shall be final.
For your information the MIAA Assembly, acting on a recommendation of an Ad Hoc Committee appointed by Board of Directors, voted that all interscholastic athletic contest controversies would be resolved by the process identified by the rules of the relevant National Sport Code (cited above).
In closing, please know that the MIAA Ice Hockey Committee will consider this incident while reviewing standards to insure optimal tournament experiences for all.