Photo Courtesy of Katherine Hennessy
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Council (MIAC) ratified the vote to sanction Boys High School Field Hockey, concluding the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Rules Governance process for the 2021-2023 rules period. This ratification allows for boys teams to compete in a 7v7 format potentially as early as fall 2021. MIAA Field Hockey Committee Chair, Mary Ryan, stated, “I am extremely happy that the proposal for boys field hockey was approved by the MIAC. I hope that schools who have boys who are interested in playing will be able to take the necessary steps to offer the sport at their schools.”
Massachusetts state law has recognized that boys may play high school field hockey and for teams to be mixed gender, as long as the school is in compliance with Title IX. The new sanctioning of boys field hockey will enable individual schools or co-op teams to add gender specific boys field hockey teams, per the MIAA. If a school does not offer both a boys and girls team, schools will still be permitted to field teams of mixed gender, per state law as outlined in the MIAA Handbook.
Sherry Bryant, MIAA Assistant Executive Director said, “To know we have opened the pathway for growth of this incredible sport in our state and maybe beyond is very exciting! With this approval, we now move forward in collaboration with USA Field Hockey to educate and support schools interested in adding boys field hockey to their athletic offerings.”
“USA Field Hockey is a sport for all, a sport for life,” stated Sally Goggin, USA Field Hockey’s National Development Director. “We are thrilled that Massachusetts has sanctioned Boys High School Field Hockey. USA Field Hockey looks forward to working with the MIAA, their member high schools and individuals in the state to support and encourage the addition of boys teams and growing the game. We have been pleased that Massachusetts has supported boys being provided the opportunity to play the sport in a co-ed platform and look forward to this new opportunity to expand the game.”
“There’s been a misconception that field hockey is just for girls, however, the reality is that it’s one of the most gender equal sports in the world.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team has been rising in world rankings, setting sights on Olympic Games qualification. USA Field Hockey will support the MIAA sanctioning process by collaborating on informational meeting(s), education and free clinics for players and coaches.
Goggin added, “Massachusetts has a strong tradition in athletics and is a leader in gender equity, and we look forward to member schools offering boys field hockey and to seeing an increase in boys from Massachusetts entering the Olympic Development Pathway and Men’s Junior High Performance Programs.”
If you are interested in supporting boys high school field hockey in Massachusetts, please reach out to Sherry Bryant at the MIAA and Sally Goggin at USA Field Hockey, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association serves in-state member schools and their students by providing leadership and support for interscholastic athletics programs in order to enrich the educational experience for all participants. The organization seeks to help students learn values associated with sports participation, such as discipline, performing under stress, teamwork, confidence, and leadership through participation in athletic pursuits as “the other half of education.”
Disclaimer: USA Field Hockey does not promote or encourage the usage of protective eyewear in the sport of field hockey or at any held National Events.