MHSAA Football to Return with New Rapid Testing
According to a report from MLive.com, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) made the announcement that the concluding rounds of the football postseason tournaments can resume, along with girls volleyball and girls swimming & diving tournaments.Football practice will consist of two days of outdoor, non-contact strength and conditioning drills in a socially distant setting. Additionally, MLive.com reported that the practices will feature helmet and shoulder pads. The new parameters come ahead of the first round of testing on December 30, as part of a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services rapid testing pilot program, the site reported.
The rapid testing program, BinaxNow antigen tests, produce results within 15 minutes. Following the team’s first round of negative testing, they can return to contact drills.
There are regional finals, state semifinals, and state championship games still to be played out for both 8-player and 11-player football. The season is slated to completed the weekend of January 22-23.
MLive reported that teams initially returned to practice on December 21, but a day later the MHSAA ordered practices to cease immediately as new details were released on the rapid testing program. Further virtual instruction sessions are scheduled this week on the rapid testing.
The MDHHS’s current epidemic order – which paused activity beginning November 18 – is set to expire on January 15, and if restrictions on non-contact sports are lifted, then volleyball and swimming and diving could practice and compete at that time outside of the required rapid testing program. If the MDHHS epidemic order continues, volleyball and swimming & diving could begin practice, but those teams and individuals will have to follow all requirements of the MDHHS rapid testing pilot program to be eligible to participate.