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MHSAA offers guidance on return of high school sports

A new guidance document issued by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) offers a gradual three-phase plan to safely reopen schools and athletics in the state.

The 12-page outline issued on Friday, May 29 was highlighted by the MHSAA’s allowance to athletes to wear cloth face masks during competition in most sports, according to an article from The Detroit News.

The organization noted that it used the National Federation of State High Schools Association’s (NFHS) recommendation for reopening safely as a guideline.

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Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

In its recommendation, MHSAA focused on five key areas — pre-workout and game screening of athletes and coaches; limitations on the numbers of participants in any gathering; facility cleanliness; best practices for equipment use; and keeping athletes hydrated.

The document also placed sports into categories based on COVID-19 transmission. Some high-risk sports include wrestling, football, boys lacrosse, and competitive cheerleading. Moderate-risk sports include basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, and ice hockey. Low-risk sports include golf, weightlifting, alpine skiing, cross country, and swimming.

“The MHSAA and its Representative Council believe restarting school sports is essential to the physical and mental well-being of students, and the guidelines outlined for schools today provide the ‘how’ for schools to return to athletics when they’ve received the go-ahead from state and county health officials,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a statement in The Detroit News article.

Currently, no group activities can resume until June 12 under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders. Due to that order, no specific timelines have been publically offered by the MHSAA, The Detroit News said. Instead of giving a potential start date, the MHSAA focused on how its member schools and can prepare for when things do resume.

To read the full story from The Detroit News on the MHSAA’s recommendations to reopen high school athletics safely, click here