Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 14, 2013

State legislators to MIAA: Reconsider gymnastics vote

The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Directors:

We are writing to voice our opposition to the MIAA’s vote to eliminate boys gymnastics as an MIAA sport. We represent the town of Andover, which has a strong gymnastic program with a long history of success, starting in 1930. There are 10 talented students currently on the team who will be left without a program next winter. Andover is just one of seven towns affected, meaning over 100 young men will lose their chance to compete in this league.

We are also concerned that this vote occurred when the representative for boys gymnastics teams was not present at the board meeting. It is unfair that the teams were not represented when this matter came up for discussion.

We do understand that the National Federation of State High School Associations announced that it would no longer be writing national rules for boys gymnastics and this vote was cast as a result. We do not see the need to follow in the national associations’ footsteps on this measure, especially without consulting the teams in Massachusetts.

It is our hope that the MIAA Board of Directors reconsiders the vote to eliminate the boys gymnastics teams in the state and give those students the opportunity to build their abilities and skills through the sport for seasons to come.

We hope to hear from you soon. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices if you have any further questions.

Sen. Barry Finegold,


Rep. James Lyons,


Rep. Frank Moran,