MHSAA: Winter high school sports will start on time with precautions

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 17:50:26-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Winter high school sports in Michigan will start on time with precautions, according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

The MHSAA Representative Council approved the plan to start winter sports on time along with the guidelines schools must follow.

Most winter sports traditionally begin practice during the first weeks of November, with competition starting during mid-November and the first weeks of December.

Guidelines for all winter sports will be posted early next week on the MHSAA website and include addressing competition limits, number of spectators allowed and wearing of face coverings.

“The council believes it is safer to begin winter practices on time, and keep athletes in school programs where safety precautions are always in effect,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “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.

“But let’s be clear: Our statewide COVID-19 numbers have to get better. In order for our schools to continue playing sports this winter and in order for fans to be there to cheer them on, we must continue working to slow down this virus.”

There are no school or team limits for basketball and ice hockey, as only two teams are able to play each other at one time and those sports may play only one game per day – with fans leaving after their game is complete.

Per state requirements, face masks must be worn by athletes practicing and competing in basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling.

They are not required for athletes practicing and competing in bowling, gymnastics, skiing and swimming & diving, which all allow for appropriate social distancing