News

Multi-Sport

    FacebookTwitter


  • Michigan

MHSAA: No specific plans for winter contact sports, until MDHHS clears them to begin full activity

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 25, 2021, 5:25 pm

If you were holding out hope for a plan, while you wait for winter contact sports to be able to resume … well, there will be a little longer wait for that, too.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association — with most of its personnel at Ford Field for the football finals at the time — felt caught off guard when the current pause in play was extended last Friday morning by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, but announced Monday that a plan to deal with that won’t be forthcoming just yet. 

It’ll have to wait until it gets the clearance from MDHHS to begin full activity again. 

“We are unable to provide specific plans yet as we are still evaluating the best options for delivering a memorable experience for 60,000 athletes involved in Winter contact sports. We will continue asking questions and advocating for all of our schools and athletes as we work toward building our next plans for seasons in basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling. We will be ready with specific timelines as soon as MDHHS clears contact sports to begin full activity,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a Monday news release. “We have said from the start of the 2020-21 school year that we would do everything possible to have three seasons, and play all three to completion. Our strong advocacy for all sports and seasons — and especially Winter sports — continues every day.”

Before Friday, it was hoped that the contact, indoor winter sports — wrestling, boys and girls basketball, competitive cheer and ice hockey — could begin after Feb. 1, when the then-current epidemic order was due to expire. At Friday’s news conference, that start point was extended by three weeks until Feb. 21, at the earliest. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed questions about the potential resumption of those sports earlier than Feb. 21 in Monday’s news conference.

“It’s important that we keep watching the numbers,” Whitmer said. “I understand the concerns that parents and athletes have and their desire to reengage. But I also point to some of the events that happened in the last couple of days. We are seeing this variant growing around Washtenaw County and around the University of Michigan campus. I want to commend the University of Michigan for taking the actions (putting athletics on a two-week pause) that they did. We think those are the right steps to keep people safe and our job is to curtail the spread of this new variant in Michigan,” Gov. Whitmer said.

“We’ve got to not let our guard down. We have reengaged restaurants to a certain extent that will increase the amount of people out and about and I think it’s important that we stay very focused on where the numbers are before we take additional steps.”

——————————

RELATED READING:

• MDHHS extends pause on winter contact sports to at least Feb. 21, expands allowed attendance at stadiums (Jan. 22)

• MHSAA adjusts postseasons schedules for delayed ‘contact’ winter sports, pushing playoffs into April (Jan. 14)

• 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)