Organized high school sailing started in 1930 in New England. Today it is experiencing a tremendous growth throughout the United States. High School Sailing is governed by the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) at the national level and is then broken down into seven districts around the United States.
MASSA is a district of the Interscholastic Sailing Association, which coordinates secondary school sailing in the U.S. The Mid-Atlantic district includes high school teams in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The district is organized into a league-based structure. There are currently 5 leagues (NYISA-NW, NYISA-SE, NJISA, MDISA & VISA). MASSA has a board of directors which includes the league directors and ISSA 2nd Representative. It was authorized by vote at the 2010 Winter meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Sailing Association (MASSA), which is a district of the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA).
New Jersey Interscholastic Sailing Association (NJISA) is a coalition of secondary schools in the State of New Jersey (including PA & DE) that have sailing teams or clubs. As part of our mission to further the sport of competitive and recreational sailing in secondary schools, we welcome inquiries from schools and individuals in the greater area that wish to form a sailing team and join the League. The League will be responsible to hold the majority of sailing opportunities for member schools. It is also in charge of selecting teams to attend the district events. We may post specific information, schedules, results, here when they become available. The NJISA League consists of high school sailing teams from NJ, PA & DE and is centered around Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
A school will primarily sail in local regattas arranged by the leagues, who are responsible for selecting teams to attend MASSA District regattas. All of these events help a team to establish a rank in the NJISA League standings, which is used to determine who is eligible to attend the MASSA Championships, where the top teams qualify for the National Championships in the spring. There will be MASSA Championship regattas each season and there will be qualifier events to select district representatives to compete in the annual National Championships for single-handed (Cressy), double handed (Mallory), and team racing (three double-handed teams for the Baker). There are three disciplines in which high school sailors can compete:
Fleet Racing- This is the most common form of racing. In a fleet race, all of the schools race against each other. Each team enters an “A” boat and a “B” boat (each boat consists of a skipper and a crew). The team's total is the combination of their A and B division's racing scores.
Team Race- In a team race, each team puts three boats (each consisting of a skipper and a crew) on the water, and races against just one other school at a time. Regattas are generally run in a round robin format. The team with the best win-loss record is the winner.
Single-handed- In this discipline there is one person in the boat. The single-handed nationals for The Cressy Trophy is raced in Laser Radials and Full-Rigs.
While new sailing teams are often formed due to the drive and desire of an individual, competitive high school sailing is based upon the school. Since commitment from the school is necessary to join the League, we encourage prospective new members to involve their school administrators early in the process. While each prospective member school is considered on an individual basis, the following are useful guidelines concerning the application process. All prospective member teams should have a designated coach prior to formal acceptance into the League. All prospective new racing teams should be prepared to pay the associated due and fees each season.
Prospective member schools should also be aware of the following information: A sailing team is made up of the team members, one or more team captain(s) and a team advisor from the school and or a parent advisor. Sailors are generally classified as skippers (the ones who steer the boat) and crews (who trim the jib and act as the eyes for the boat). The designation of crew or skipper is not rigid. Throughout the season, the coaches will work to create skipper/crew combinations that are congruent with the team's goals and have a positive chemistry between the individuals. During both practice and regattas, the coaches will make decisions as to who will skipper or crew and who will sail in which divisions. Team Captains, Team Advisors, and parents do not determine who skippers or crews or sailing combinations. Coaches' decisions are final.
Not every sailor will be able to attend every regatta. Sailing is a unique sport in that a small number of team members can participate in the regatta at any onetime. Further, conditions may prevent lighter or heavier sailors from sailing at all on a given day, regardless of their ability, age, or hierarchy on the team. Besides skill level, coaches will take into serious consideration the following two criteria in determining rosters for events: attendance at practice, and attitude. Sailors who are committed to the team and do whatever is asked of them quickly and without complaint will find that they will be invited to regattas over and over.
To find a coach, a good place to post a free ad is the http://www.sail1design.com/21.html
Two useful publications, “Starting Your Own High School Sailing Team” and “Coaching A High School Sailing Team”, are available through the Order Form
Since the schools and coaches of the League are scattered throughout New Jersey, much of the communication within the League is done via email. All coaches should subscribe to the League list-server so that they get all of the notices. Athletic directors and other school administrators are also welcome to subscribe to the League's list-server. Coaches, especially those of teams in the A and B Divisions, should also subscribe to the MASSA list-server so that they get announcements of MASSA regattas and other news. It is the responsibility of the coach and school to ensure that they have subscribed to these email list-servers.