The Michigan High School Athletic Association has announced a “phased in” timetable for the beginning of fall sports competition.
The plan was designed because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Low risk sports, including cross country, Upper Peninsula girls tennis, and Lower Peninsula girls golf, swimming and diving, may begin practice on August 12th and begin competition on their traditional start dates of August 19th and 21st.
Moderate and high-risk sports, including football, girls volleyball and boys soccer, may begin practice but not competition. Decisions about competition timelines for these three sports will be made by August 20th.
Practice for girls volleyball and boys soccer may begin on August 12th. Football practices with full player pads and equipment will be delayed until Monday, August 17th. The week of August 10th may include football practice sessions consisting of conditioning, physical training and skill work with no other player equipment except helmets.
Scrummages for all fall sports have been canceled, and limits will be placed on the number of teams that can compete at tournaments and other multi-team events.
In a release, MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said that it’s still possible some fall sports may be delayed until spring. He added, “The easy way out would be to postpone all activity to next spring, and we are not taking the easy way out. But we will make wise decisions based on medical guidance.”
The decision will be made on a statewide basis, using Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan. While the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula are in Phase Five of the plan, which allows for limited indoor activity, most the state remains in Phase Four, the rest are in Phase 4, with schools unable to host indoor training, practice or competition.