Good Afternoon Bronchos,
Based on the new Epidemic Order today from MDHHS, winter sports (both HS and MS) are suspended through January 15, 2021 Downhill skiing is the one sport that is provided an exception to this order and can begin on Monday December 21, 2020. Below is the statement from the MHSAA in response to this order. Included in the MHSAA statement is information on the resumption of the three fall sports that were unable to complete their seasons (including the MDHHS pilot testing program that will be implemented in order for this to occur), as well as information on winter and spring sports.
With the announcement from the Governor’s office and MDHHS, along with today’s Representative Council meeting, here is the updated MHSAA plan for fall, winter and spring sports.
The Governor and MDHHS have a shared priority that high schools need to reopen first, followed by extra-curricular activities. With high schools now reopened, the MDHHS has announced a pilot testing program that will allow the three unfinished fall sport tournaments to resume under these new testing requirements. The updated emergency orders continue the pause on all organized sports except those three fall MHSAA sports identified in the MDHHS pilot testing program. This will allow those schools with teams still playing in MHSAA tournaments (volleyball and football) and individuals in LP girls swimming & diving (Finals qualifiers, only) to resume practice on Monday, Dec. 21. All safety protocols remain in effect. The tournament schedules for these 3 fall sports are as follows:
- Volleyball- Quarterfinals on Tuesday, Jan. 5; Semifinals and Finals on Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 7-9 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
- Girls Swimming & Diving- Finals on Friday, Jan. 15 (Diving) and Saturday, Jan. 16 (Swimming) at 3 locations.
- Football- Regional Finals and 8-Player Semifinals on Saturday, Jan. 2; Semifinals at home sites and 8-Player Finals on Saturday, Jan. 9 ; Finals on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16.
All details on this pilot testing program will be shared by MDHHS with the MHSAA and those fall sports schools soon.
Unless new MDHHS orders are issued, all winter sports practices and competitions may start when the updated emergency orders expire on Jan. 15. Only virtual contact is allowed for all sports in all member school facilities, except those fall sport schools and individuals still in the MHSAA tournament following the pilot testing program, at this time. Schools and coaches should strongly discourage any non-school activity by individuals during this pause to not create more virus spread so that we can return to play. All winter sport tournaments will conclude by the end of March and updated scheduling guidance and winter sport tournament dates will be finalized and shared with member schools next Tuesday, Dec. 22. Note that the one outdoor winter sport, skiing, may begin outdoor practices and competition on Monday, Dec. 21 with no change to the published MHSAA Ski tournament dates. All indoor junior high and middle school sports may also resume when the orders expire on Jan. 15. All safety protocols remain in effect when winter practices and competitions resume.
At the current time, the updated MDHHS emergency orders do not allow for any spectators at contests for both fall and winter sports.
All spring sports will start on time and no changes will be made to spring sport tournament dates.
Additional winter scheduling details and finalized tournament dates will be shared with schools by the end of the day next Tuesday, Dec. 22.
While this information continues to be very fluid, please know how much I feel for our athletes and coaches. As more information becomes available, I will continue to share it on our social media outlets and our website.
I wish all of our athletes, coaches, and their families a very safe and healthy holiday season.