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

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, December 26, 2020, 6:42 pm

On Boxing Day, the Michigan High School Athletic Association unwrapped its plans for finishing the fall postseasons before the end of January.

After last week’s back-and-forth with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, on the scheduling for the restart of the three fall tournaments still in limbo, the association was able to scotch tape down a time for the postseasons to begin again, announcing those Saturday. 

Football playoffs will resume on Saturday, Jan. 9, with regional finals for 11-player and semifinals for 8-player. The 8-player bracket will conclude with finals on Saturday, Jan. 16, while the finals for 11-player will be Jan. 22-23. The dates are one week behind what was originally announced before the miscommunication between the two governing bodies.

Football teams can resume practice with two days of outdoor, non-contact conditioning and drills — with physical distancing — on Monday, Dec. 28, before the first round of rapid-result testing — using the BinaxNOW antigen tests that yield a result in 15 minutes is slated on Dec. 30. Full practices are allowed after a first round of negative results. 

The MHSAA held off on announcing the exact restart dates for the girls swimming and diving finals, as well as the final two rounds of the volleyball tournament with the intent of waiting to see if the current MDHHS epidemic order gets extended past its current expiration date of Jan. 15. Championships will be competed no later than Jan. 30, regardless. 

If the restrictions on non-contact indoor sports are lifted, the two sports could practice and compete outside of the rapid-result testing program that is currently required to participate in high school sports. 

If they remain in place, volleyball players and swimmers could participate under the requirements of the MDHHS pilot testing program. 

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• 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)