Invading The Green

MIAA Rules and Emily Nash

October 28, 2017

This week, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have been blowing up with stories and comments about Emily Nash. Emily is a junior at Lunenburg High School and on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 she won the Central Massachusetts Division 3 boys’ golf-tournament at Blissful Meadows Golf Course in Uxbridge, MA. Due to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules, she was denied the trophy she earned and people are talking about it.

Although Nash knew going in that she would only advance if her team qualified in the boys’ golf tournament she was not aware that she was ineligible for the title and/or trophy if she won as an individual. She is quoted in as saying “None of us are mad at the MIAA or anything like that, but I was definitely a little bit disappointed.”

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I want to take note of the young man who was awarded the trophy: Nico Ciolino of the Advanced Math & Science Academy in Marlboro. According to, he reportedly offered the trophy to Nash, but she declined.

Neither of the top two players who “won” the tournament actually won that day. Even if Ciolino had refused the trophy himself, it would not have changed the outcome. Ciolino showed a level of sophisticated nobleness uncommon in today’s society. As a parent of two boys myself, I am extremely proud of him for this single act towards Nash.

Here is a shining example of two young people who are exhibiting excellence and poise in the face of disappointment. Nash played in the boys’ tournament because her school did not have a girls’ golf team. She won. She acted gracefully when she was told she would not receive the trophy. Ciolino accepted the trophy, but then offered it to Nash. True character shines during trials. I have to applaud these two outstanding athletes and I look forward to watching their individual careers flourish in the future.

How do you feel about Emily Nash and Nico Ciolino and what happened this week?


Doyle, B., Telegram & Gazette, Oct 25, 2017 Lunenburg’s Emily Nash ‘disappointed’ with MIAA rule preventing her from winning Division 3 golf title.