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MHSAA Suspends Fall & Winter Sports for 3 Weeks

November 16, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationHockeySwimmingWrestling
The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has declared a three-week suspension for its fall and winter sports following the latest epidemic order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, according to WWMT.com. 

“We understand the need for action, and we will explore all options to complete our Fall tournaments when restrictions are lifted. We will assess everything over the next three weeks relative to Fall and Winter sports and come up with a plan that keeps us connected to our goal, for months, of having three seasons that are played to their conclusions,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a statement. 

Volleyball, swimming and diving have just one week left in their tournaments, while 8-man football is down to just two games remaining and 11-man football is three weeks away from completion.

*This story has been updated from its original post on Monday, November 16. The updates are in bold italics.* 

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has not postponed the winter high school sports season amid COVID-19 case surges, instead opting to leave the decision up to the individual school districts.

In a recent article from ClickOnDetroit.com, Geoff Kimmerly, a member of the MHSAA said just that but added the association is in constant contact with the Michigan state health department to ensure the guidelines put in place are compliant with emergency orders from the state.

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Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

Take the Ann Arbor Public School District for example. It announced late last week that winter sports will be postponed until January in light of the recent COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County and the state overall, according to the report. The story went on to add that Ann Arbor is the only school district in the state to officially pause the winter sports season.

Kimmerly went on to tell ClickOnDetroit.com that the fall was a relative success for high school sports, as 95 percent of all football and volleyball teams were able to play every single week.

Previously, the MHSAA announced that the winter sports season will start on time. Typically the winter sports season begins with practice during the first few weeks of November with games starting later in the month or early December.

“The Council believes it is safer to begin Winter practices on time and keep athletes in school programs where safety precautions are always in effect,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said in an issued press release. “With the vastly different circumstances faced by schools in different regions all over the state, an on-time start still allows schools to decide when they feel most comfortable beginning activity – and allows all of them to slowly ramp up their frequency of activity and numbers of spectators attending competitions.”

Some of the guidelines issued to the schools include the removal of scrimmages and limiting the number of teams involved in regular-season competitions in sports like competitive cheer, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and wrestling. For sports like bowling or skiing, a maximum of 72 competitors will be allowed.

Host sites must strictly enforce spectator capacity limits on a game-by-game basis. Additionally, each participant in the event is allowed to have two spectators in attendance per event. Masks must be worn by athletes who are practicing or competing in sports like basketball, hockey, competitive cheer, and wrestling.

To read more about the updates from the MHSAA about the winter sports season, click here