MHSAA plans to start winter Michigan high school sports season on time
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The winter season for Michigan high school sports will begin on time with continued precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Representative Council voted to begin the winter season, including basketball and wrestling, with initial practices beginning in November and competition starting around mid-November to early December.
The MHSAA is imposing several COVID-19 precautions for the winter sports season, including competition limits, restrictions on the number of spectators allowed and the continued use of face coverings during competition.
Athletes are required to wear a face covering during practices and games for basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling based on requirements from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Bowling, gymnastics, skiing and swimming & diving athletes do not need to wear face coverings while competing because their sports allow for social distancing. But they will need face coverings while they are not actively competing or practicing.
Scrimmages will not be allowed and limits have been placed on the number of competitors at each event. For the regular season, a maximum of four teams will be allowed in competitive cheer, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling. Bowling and skiing will be restricted to 72 athletes.
Basketball teams are limited to playing only one game per day and fans must exit after their game is complete. Like the fall season, only two spectators will be allowed in the gym per athlete, but the MHSAA says that may be revised upward later in the season.
Schools around the state are allowed to delay the start of winter sports based on the amount of coronavirus activity in their areas. Uyl said Michigan’s coronavirus situation needs to improve for schools to continue offering athletics this winter and allowing fans inside.
“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,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said.
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