PALMER, Mass. (WGGB) — A controversial call has cost the Palmer High School boys’ soccer team their season and ends their quest for a Division III Western Mass. championship.
The call came earlier this week following a win over Hampshire Regional in the D-III quarterfinal.
It is a big game Wednesday at Chicopee’s Szot Park – the semifinal tournament – and while the team in red playing is Hampshire Regional High School, many feel Palmer should be here on the field.
Palmer had a 2-0 victory over Hampshire Regional in Monday night’s quarterfinal game, which should have meant they move on.
However, on Tuesday morning, it was announced that the Panthers had violated a sportsmanship rule in the handbook.
The rule from the Mass. Interscholastic Athletic Association, or MIAA, states that: “Any team whose players or coaches receive collectively five (5) yellow or red cards in a contest will result in immediate termination.”
The ruling meant that Palmer has forfeited that game.
Now, the last yellow card was actually given after the game had ended, which is why Palmer appealed the ruling.
Wednesday morning, the MIAA had a conference call and they denied the appeal by a vote of 4-0, and Palmer remains eliminated from the tournament.
Neither Hampshire Regional or Palmer High commented on the issue, but Palmer fans aren’t very happy.
“It’s playoffs. They have already won western Mass. a couple of years ago. They have good tradition of getting to the playoffs and losing a game like that is kind of sad, but a rule’s a rule, I guess,” says Joe Ferry of Palmer.
A rule is a rule and the decision has been made.
Hampshire Regional fans are looking forward to cheering on their team Wednesday evening as they take on Belchertown at Szot Park.
The appeal was denied by a MIAA subcommittee, that included one principal and three athletic directors from other schools.