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Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019: Ninth annual BCANY tourney starts Friday

   Leading off today: Here's your reminder that the three-day BCANY Summer Hoops Festival in Johnson City kicks off Friday in the high school and elementary school gyms.

   Boys and girls regional teams will be playying 16-minute halves with no shot clock -- not that you actually need a shot clock in showcase events like this.

   Daily passes are $5, with weekend ($10) and family weekend ($20) passes also available.

   More details on the Basketball Coaches Association of New York's ninth-annual tournament, including rosters, can be found here.

   Things that make you say, "Huh?": This week's puzzling decision to push a coach out the door comes from Newburgh, where the school board apparently wants to rid itself of boys track and field coach Malcolm Burks.

   Parents and athletes mobilized quickly this week when it was learned that Burks was not on the list of coaches up for appointment at Tuesday's school board meeting at the Newburgh Free Academy, the Times Herald-Record reported.

   Emerging from executive session, the board approved 31 fall coaching appointments, but the list of five winter appointments that did not include Burks was tabled until the scheduled Aug. 13 meeting.

   The paper reported that school board members and Superintendent Roberto Padilla were not made available for comment after the meeting and that its reporter was urged upon arrival by the school district's communications strategist to "exit swiftly" as soon as the meeting had adjourned.

   More coaching developments: Joe Bucello will not be brought back for a third season as the boys lacrosse coach at Mahopac after compiling a 23-14 record and twice reaching the Section 1 Class A semifinals.

   It will be up to recently hired interim AD Frank Miele to appoint the programs fourth head coach since 2015. Bucello had been the JV coach for two seasons before moving up to the varsity position.

   "I thought I was just going to meet the new athletic director and within five minutes I was done," Bucello said. "It had nothing to do with the product on the field. He just told me they wanted somebody who bleeds blue and gold."

    • Brian Davis, 30, has been named the Buffalo McKinley football coach. He replaces Micah Harris, an interim appointee last fall.

   Davis, a three-sport athlete at Williamsville North who played at Edinboro University, had served as an assistant coach at Buffalo Bennett the past two seasons.


   Rules changes: Allowing players to freely move after a whistle is one several changes to high school girls lacrosse rules that will take effect next spring.

   The change to free movement eliminates the requirement for players to stand in place after an official's whistle.

   "This will be an exciting rule change for the high school game, one which we believe will enhance the athlete experience on the field and ease the workload on officials to monitor players off the ball," said Caitlin Kelley, U.S. Lacrosse women's lacrosse director and the USL liaison to the girls lacrosse rules committee.

   The change was approved at a joint meeting of National Federation of State High School Associations and U.S. Lacrosse administrators in June.

   Other significant rules changes include:

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    • Players can be substituted for during a possession timeout, except for the player being awarded the ball and the offender.

    • Amending the previous rule on boundary restarts, self-starts will be permitted with the defender giving the player in possession of the ball at least two meters.

    • Free position action after a major foul will now commence from the 12-meter fan closest to the spot of the foul.

    • Crosse and stick requirements were amended. A crosse now meets specifications if the ball moves freely in the front of the pocket, removing the requirement for the back of the pocket. Additionally, during stick checks, game officials will ensure that the ball rolls out of the back of the pocket when placed in the upper third of the head at its widest point and the stick and head are tilted 90 degrees.

   Merger news: The previously announced proposed merger between two neighboring Rochester private schools will not happen. Allendale Columbia's board of trustees recently announced it had decided to not move forward with combining with The Harley School.

   The schools will continue their long-time arrangement of fielding combined athletic teams.

   The newly formed Elizabethtown-Lewis/Westport school district will operate under a new name: Boquet Valley Central School District. That moniker won out over Eastern Adirondack Central School District.

   The school mascot will be the Griffin, and its teams will wear navy blue and gold.

   Maine gets creative: The shortage of officials in Maine has become such a problem that the state's governing body for scholastic sports has created a position focused entirely on combating issues related to the recruitment and retention of high school officials.

   "The biggest issues we have right now are trying to retain the people that are on those boards and also how do we increase the membership in officiating, because it's obvious it's not something people are getting into for various reasons," said former school administrator Jeff Benson, Maine's first commissioner of officials.

   The Maine Principals Association interscholastic division created the officiating czar position by converting its former commissioner of basketball post into to a more all-encompassing position.

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