• Michigan

MHSAA adjusts postseasons schedules for delayed ‘contact’ winter sports, pushing playoffs into April

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 14, 2021, 2:55 pm

In response to the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic order moving the start of indoor ‘contact’ sports back to the start of next month, the Michigan High School Athletic Association has pushed back the start dates for the postseason in those four sports.

Competitive cheer, hockey, wrestling and basketball (boys and girls) cannot start practicing until Jan. 16, and cannot have contact in practice until Feb. 1, according to the current MDHHS edict, laid out at Wednesday’s news conference. The MHSAA’s Representative Council met Thursday to hammer out the details.

Hockey will be the first allowed to contest games, on Feb. 1, followed by basketball for both genders on Feb. 4, and cheer and wrestling on Feb. 8. 

The postseasons for cheer (districts), wrestling (districts) and hockey (regionals) will begin on March 15, while boys and girls basketball will alternate district dates for the week of March 22-28.

Competitive cheer and hockey will conclude their seasons first, with finals the weekend of March 26-27, followed by wrestling with team finals on March 31 and individual finals on April 2-3. 

Girls basketball finals will be April 9, followed by boys finals on April 10.

There will be some overlap with spring sports, which will stay with their traditional start times on March 15, just prior to spring break for most MHSAA schools — 63 percent of schools scheduled for March 29-April 4, and 37 percent from April 5-11, according to the associations’ research.

Below are the complete listing of the modified key dates for each of the ‘contact’ winter sports:

Girls basketball

First non-contact practice: Jan. 16

First contact practice: Feb. 1

First contest: Feb. 4

Districts: March 22, 24, 26

Regionals: March 29, 31

Quarterfinals: April 5

Semifinals: April 7

Finals: April 9


Boys basketball

First non-contact practice: Jan. 16

First contact practice: Feb. 1

First contest: Feb. 4

Districts: March 23, 25, 27

Regionals: March 30, April 1

Quarterfinals: April 6

Semifinals: April 8

Finals: April 10


Competitive cheer

First non-contact practice: Jan. 16

First contact practice: Feb. 1

First contest: Feb. 8

Districts: March 15-20

Regionals: March 22-24

Finals: March 26-27



First non-contact practice: Jan. 16

First contact practice: Feb. 1

First contest: Feb. 1

Regionals: March 15-20

Quarterfinals: March 23

Semifinals: March 25-26

Finals: March 27



First non-contact practice: Jan. 16

First contact practice: Feb. 1

First contest: Feb. 8

Districts: March 15-20

Regionals: March 22-28

Team Finals: March 31

Individual Finals: April 2-3



• MDHHS updates epidemic order to allow indoor non-contact winter sports to begin on Jan. 16 (Jan. 13)

• MDHHS gives MHSAA approval to allow limited spectators for remaining football, volleyball postseasons (Jan. 6)

• MHSAA: Girls swim finals, volleyball postseason will resume Jan. 4 with testing, finish by Jan. 16 (Dec. 29)

• MHSAA unwraps plans to finish three fall postseasons by end of January; football practices resume Dec. 28, playoffs on Jan. 9 (Dec. 26)

• MHSAA announces adjusted start dates, postseason schedule for winter sports (Dec. 23)

• FALSE START: MHSAA halts resumption of fall sports until rapid-result testing can commence at end of December (Dec. 22)

• MDHHS antigen testing pilot program will allow MHSAA to restart fall postseasons and conclude by end of extended ‘pause’ (Dec. 18)

• No action taken at Wednesday’s meeting of MHSAA’s Representative Council, as association plans for resumption of pushed-back seasons (Dec. 9)

• MHSAA’s Uyl expresses frustration at Monday’s extension of ‘pause,’ lack of explanation for keeping high school sports halted (Dec. 8)

• MDHHS and Gov. Whitmer extend ‘pause’ for 12 more days to help slow spread of COVID-19  (Dec. 7)

• MHSAA’s Uyl optimistic high school sports will be able to resume next week, but still waiting on edge of his seat to find out for sure (Dec. 4)

MHSAA’s Representative Council lays out initial plans for resuming fall postseasons in December (Nov. 18)

• With COVID-19 numbers quickly rising again, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, MDHHS shut down Michigan’s high school athletics again  (Nov. 15)

• No delays in the start of winter practices and competitions, MHSAA says (Oct. 23)

• Will winter sports start on time? MHSAA plans to give guidance to schools after Thursday’s meeting of Representative Council (Oct. 22)

• MHSAA: No changes to mask requirements, after Monday’s emergency order by MDHHS (Oct. 6)

• MHSAA tweaks cross country and swimming/diving tournaments to minimize number of participants, reverts girls golf to traditional field (Oct. 2)

• No more empty stadiums for MHSAA: Governor’s new EO allows increase in spectator numbers, starting Oct. 9 (Sept. 30)

• MHSAA offers guidance on Governor’s new mask Executive Order: ‘It is the MHSAA’s expectation that all members comply’ (Sept. 10)

MASK UP: Gov. Whitmer clarifies mask requirement for fall sports with EO requiring them for volleyball, soccer and football (Sept. 9)

Reversed field: MHSAA will indeed play football this fall, with shortened regular season (Sept. 3)

Gov. Whitmer allows of reopening of gyms and pools next week; MHSAA to play football despite MDHHS recommendation against contact sports (Sept. 3)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says decision on reopening gyms, indoor athletic facilities coming ‘very soon’ (Sept. 2)

Still awaiting answers from governor’s office on fate of fall sports in limbo, MHSAA admits ‘the clock is ticking’ (Aug. 26)

MHSAA adds offseason football practice dates, hopes to have spring season set-up settled by mid-September (Aug. 20)

MHSAA approves start of competition for volleyball, boys soccer, girls swimming in two regions; rest of state still awaiting clarification from governor’s office (Aug. 20)

Announcement from MHSAA on fate of volleyball, swimming and soccer postponed (Aug. 19)

• MHSAA’s Uyl explains decision to postpone football: ‘What we were getting from our schools … was really to pump the brakes’  (Aug. 17)

MHSAA pulls plug on fall football, announcing decision to move it to the spring (Aug. 14)

College cancellations won’t force MHSAA’s hand, executive director Mark Uyl says; ‘Don’t make decisions just because somebody else did’ (Aug. 12)

Lansing School District cancels fall extracurricular activities, including athletics (Aug. 7)

MHSAA Representative Council gives thumbs-up to on-time start for lower-risk fall sports, tables decision on competition for high-risk sports (July 29)

• MHSAA announces plan to begin 2020-21 school year as traditionally scheduled, leaving football (for now) in the fall (July 17)

• For now, plan is still to have fall sports in the fall, MHSAA reassures its membership (July 2)

What does the ‘MI Safe Schools’ return to school roadmap say about high school sports? Here’s a look (July 1)

Gov. Whitmer to MHSAA: Consider moving contact sports back from the fall (June 30)

• New allowance from from governor’s office doesn’t change much: Schools allowed to resume sports activities prior to end of 2019-20 school year (June 12)

• MHSAA updates guidelines, allowing northern Michigan schools to move workouts indoors starting Wednesday (June 9)

• MHSAA adjusts to curveball of early lifting of stay-at-home order, amends guidance doc for reopening sports  (June 2)

• Gov. Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order early, providing increasing clarity on ‘when’ high school sports can resume (June 1)

• MHSAA releases ‘Guidance for Opening School Sports’ document, outlining a roadmap of ‘how’ high school sports can resume in Michigan (May 29)

• Friday’s roadmap from MHSAA will give ‘how’ school athletics will return, but maybe not ‘when’: ‘We still can’t rush this’ (May 28)

• MHSAA gives schools heads up that ‘Guidance for Opening School Sports’ is coming next week (May 22)

• Q&A with MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl, after Friday’s decision to cancel remaining 2019-20 sports seasons (April 3)

• MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl explains agonizing decision to cancel remainder of winter and spring seasons; ‘My heart absolutely breaks for kids in the class of 2020’ (April 3)

• MHSAA officially cancels spring and winter sports, putting an end to the 2019-20 athletic year (April 3)

• Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces closure of Michigan schools for remainder of 2019-20, stipulates K-12 sports are suspended ‘while state of emergency … is in effect’ (April 2)

• With Gov. Whitmer reportedly set to close Michigan schools for remainder of academic year, can cancellation of high school sports be far behind?  (March 30)

• ‘What now?’ and ‘What next?’: A look at how Michigan’s prep athletes are coping with the ‘pause’ of the postseason, and what it might theoretically take to ‘unpause’ (March 17)

• MHSAA extends halt of athletic activities to include practices, scrimmages until at least April 5(March 13)

• MHSAA puts postseason on pause due to concerns over COVID-19 (March 12)

• UPDATED: MHSAA postseasons impacted by coronavirus; games put on pause, postponed indefinitely (March 11)