MICHIGAN (WJRT) - (4/3/2020) - Winter and spring high school sports in Michigan officially are canceled.
The MHSAA sanctions high school athletics in Michigan.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced on Friday that it will not complete the winter sports season and all spring athletic events have been called off.
No state championships will be awarded in any winter or spring sports. This is the first time season champions have not been crowned since the 1942-1943 winter season, when the U.S. was embroiled in World War II.
The MHSAA paused the winter sports season on March 12 as coronavirus began spreading in Michigan. Most winter sports were down to their playoffs or completing their regular season at the time.
Spring sports practices had started, but competitions weren't being held.
MHSAA leaders tried to develop scheduling concepts on March 27 to complete the winter season and stage an abbreviated spring season if Gov. Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order was lifted.
“We understand as much as anyone how much school sports mean to athletes and their communities,” said MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl. "We had ideas and hopes for finishing winter and spring and helping bring some sort of normalcy after this long break."
However, Whitmer announced Thursday that students will not return to classrooms for the remainder of this school year. That forced the MHSAA to cancel all of its activities, as well.
“We are heartbroken to not be able to provide these opportunities for Michigan’s student-athletes, and especially seniors," Uyl said. "We continue to hear from dozens asking us to hold out hope. But safety always must come first, and Governor Whitmer is making courageous decisions to safeguard the people of our state."
Without the winter sports playoff tournaments and a spring season, no state championships will be awarded. Any district and regional championships from the winter season will stand, however.
MHSAA leaders now are turning their attention to developing guidelines and information for the long offseason before fall sports activities begin.