'Elite Eight' proposal in works for MIAA baseball

Lincoln-Sudbury head baseball coach Kirk Fredericks has a proposal in the works towards creating an open-division "Elite Eight" tournament for the 2014 MIAA season, similar to the current "Super Eight" format currently used for hockey.

The proposal was initially shown to the MIAA Tournament Committee during their September meeting, and presented again to a sub-committee before their October meeting. This weekend, Fredericks plans on canvassing the plan at the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches' Association Convention at the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough. With enough support, a sub-committee will be considered, comprised of members of both the MBCA's Executive Board and the MIAA Tournament Committee, to try and develop a plan.

Using data from the results of the last 13 state tournaments as evidence, Fredericks asserts a growing concern among athletic directors about private parochial schools' dominance in the baseball landscape, and believes change is warranted. Since 1999, a private school has been present in all but three of the Division 1 state finals. Seven of those finals have been won by a school from the five-member Catholic Conference, including five of six from 1999 to 2004.

Under Fredrick's proposal, eight teams will be divided into two brackets, named after MIAA executives Bill Gaine and Dick Neal, with the winner of each bracket facing off in a best-of-three final. The teams will be selected by a nine-member committee comprised of Tournament Directors, Athletic Directors, umpires, coaches and media.

Any suggestions or questions on the plan can be sent to Fredericks at kirk_wms@yahoo.com.

The seven-page proposal can be found here in its entirety.