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MIAA redefines governance process for student eligibility and sport rule changes

In his second year as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Bob Baldwin continues to pledge that “status quo is not an option.”

Determined to provide clarity and consistency for the 385 member schools, Baldwin initiated conversations that have resulted in reform — a constitutional revision for the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Council, a body whose formation (1950) predates the establishment of the MIAA (1978) and that has continued to serve as the final arbiter on student-athlete eligibility and sport rule changes.

The governance initiative, unanimously approved by the MIAC Tuesday and relayed to schools Thursday in the executive director’s report, clearly defines rules.


Members of the MIAC (athletic directors and school administrators) and the eligibility review board will handle executive decisions on student waivers of eligibility — with one level of appeal — as well as individual one-year disqualifications.

The board of directors/executive director will now serve as the final arbiter on rule changes, with the MIAC in an advisory role.

“We needed clear lines of authority,” said Baldwin, who credited the MIAC for looking past its individual gain for the greater good of the membership.

“The board of directors is current, relevant, and meets monthly. They should have the regulatory authority.

“Hopefully, this sends a message that we are trying to do things in a different way.”

Craig Larson can be reached at craig.larson@globe.com.