Upsets, so many upsets.

It started in Class A South softball, when No. 14 Falmouth knocked off No. 3 Scarborough, the team that won three consecutive state titles between 2017 and 2019 and would have been the favorite in 2020 had the COVID-19 pandemic not scrapped the season. In Class B South baseball, No. 16 Gray-New Gloucester beat No. 1 Yarmouth in a first-round game.

In Class B North baseball, No. 11 Caribou knocked off first No. 6 Foxcroft Academy, then No. 3 Lawrence to advance to Saturday’s semifinal round. In the same tournament, No. 13 Nokomis defeated No. 4 Belfast in the first round.

There were other upsets, but those stand out. Especially the Falmouth softball team and Gray-New Gloucester baseball team. If not for the special circumstances considered by the Maine Principals’ Association in crafting the 2021 spring sports tournaments, neither team would have been in the playoffs in the first place.

That we’re having statewide high school playoffs of any kind should be applauded. Especially coming off fall and winter seasons in which teams were confined to regional play, and in the case of football and wrestling, severely limited in the scope of what they could do. Competition took a hit in the fall and winter, and this spring has felt like a rebirth of sorts.

That said, it hasn’t been easy. High school teams have moved in and out of quarantine as COVID-19 cases popped up at their schools. There was no guarantee any team would get in a full season, so the MPA made the decision to go with open tournaments. No team would be left out due to being unable to play a full season, or play a season without a full team.

It was a wonderful call by the MPA. As we climb out of the COVID-19 pit, one of the best things we can do is play more. Giving everyone who plays a high school spring sport the opportunity to play at least one more game was a thank you for being patient as we figured all this out. Some teams opted out and chose not to take part, but most did. We saw teams like Falmouth softball and Gray-New Gloucester baseball extend their seasons by a game thanks to this ruling.

That said, let’s not make this a habit.

Open tournaments are a perfect solution to a problem that if we’re lucky will not be a problem again for another century. In that case somebody not yet born can read our notes and see if we’re any help.

Think back around 20 years. Maine has tried this open tournament experience before. In the early 2000s, the MPA approved open tournaments for all the sports using Heal points. There were preliminary round games on top of preliminary round games. In the second season of the open tournaments, regions were divided into subregions. It was all too much, and thankfully the idea was mothballed.

The two-thirds get in rule currently in use is fair. The regular season should count for something. In the fall, when it appears we’ll have normal seasons for every sport. For spring 2021, for teams that saw spring 2020 completely wiped out, an open tournament was a fine idea, an exception for exceptional times. Don’t allow the possibility of future upsets to factor in the decision to make this a one-and-done proposition.

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