Indoor winter sports, according to latest plan, to start practice January 16
Mon, 12/28/2020 - 11:25am caleb
Practices for high school teams have been suspended for several weeks following MDHHS epidemic orders
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Following several recent changes in regulations for indoor gatherings from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan High School Athletic Association – on Wednesday, December 23 – announced its latest schedule for starting the bulk of the winter sports season.
“The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (on December 23) approved an adjusted regular season calendar for indoor winter sports, which under current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders may restart their seasons Saturday, January 16,” according to the MHSAA.
A recent adjustment of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services “Gatherings and Face Mask Order” allowed high school ski teams to resume activity on Monday, December 21. Indoor winter sports are still suspended.
“All winter sports activity had been paused by (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) on November 18 to decrease spread of COVID-19. Girls and boys alpine skiing, with all activity taking place outdoors, was allowed by MDHHS to resume its season Monday, December 21, and remains underway. If the MDHHS pause ends, indoor practices may begin again January 16, with first competitions January 22 for basketball, bowling, ice hockey, and swimming/diving, and January 25 for competitive cheer, gymnastics, and wrestling,” according to the MHSAA.
Winter sports practices were originally slated to start in mid-November.
The MHSAA also recently announced a change in limitations for wrestling competition.
“The (Representative) Council also approved one-year changes to competition limits in wrestling. Wrestling teams are allowed two dates of competition per week this season, with competition limited to four teams at a site (and three matches per student per day of competition),” according to the MHSAA.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced adjustments to its championship tournaments for winter sports.
“The (Representative) Council also approved changes to the winter tournament schedule, pushing championships in most sports back to allow for regular seasons to be extended due to the late start,” according to the MHSAA.
The adjustment places district tournaments for boys basketball and girls basketball in the same week; normally, they are spaced one week apart.
According to the MHSAA’s December 23 announcement, girls basketball districts are slated for March 8, 10, and 12. Boys basketball districts are set for March 9, 11, and 13. For wrestling, districts are slated for the week of March 1 and regionals are scheduled for the week of March 8.
MHSAA representatives said spring sports are on track to play as scheduled, but that could change depending on Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regulations.
“Currently, the start dates of spring sports are not affected. If current orders further delay activity beyond January 16, the MHSAA staff and Representative Council will devise updated plans that address both winter and spring sports. If current orders are amended to allow activity to begin earlier, the first days of practice and competition will be moved up accordingly,” according to the MHSAA.
“The (Representative) Council has been working to give schools as much local flexibility as possible while putting together their winter seasons schedules,” said Mark Uyl, MHSAA Executive Director. “This flexible planning has been required of us all since June, and we will continue to advocate for kids in all seasons with our continued goal of three seasons played to completion.”