MHSAA announces schedule to complete football and fall sports seasons
Winter sports practices could resume on Dec. 9 with competitions starting in January
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Fall high school sports in Michigan were very close to their conclusions when new coronavirus restrictions caused another delay.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association postponed all sports activities for three weeks after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an epidemic order closing all high schools and prohibiting amateur sports activities for three weeks.
The order took effect Wednesday and continues until Dec. 9 to limit the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases across the state.
“We understand where COVID numbers were trending, and that’s why we have been supportive of the order to pause,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But these Fall sports deserve closure, and this strategy provides the best opportunities without further interruptions to a normal course of training and competition.
The MHSAA plans to resume practice for the football, volleyball and swimming/diving seasons on Dec. 9 unless state health officials extend the order postponing activities. Winter sports practices also would resume on that date with the start of competition coming on Jan. 4.
The football season was down to the regional finals, state semifinal and final rounds of the playoffs. Under the revised schedule, 11-player teams would play the regional final games Dec. 15 and 16, state semifinal games Dec. 21 and 22 and championship games Dec. 28 and 29 at Ford Field in Detroit.
Eight-player football teams would play their state semifinal games Dec. 15 and 16 and state finals games Dec. 21 and 22 at Midland Community Stadium.
Volleyball quarterfinals would take place Dec. 15, followed by state semifinals on Dec. 17 and 18 and finals on Dec. 19. Swimming and diving state finals in the Lower Peninsula will take place Dec. 22 and 23.
“A very small percentage of our teams remain active in our Fall tournaments, also limiting potential exposure to the virus across the state,” Uyl said. “Meanwhile, by waiting until January to begin Winter competition, the (MHSAA Representative) Council is allowing our teams to continue activity but also restricting the mixing of communities to further promote reducing COVID spread.”
MHSAA leaders are planning to meet again on Dec. 4 and will be prepared to adjust schedules again if necessary.
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