MHSAA waits to start football, soccer, volleyball games
By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press
LANSING, July 29, 2020 (AP): The Michigan High School
Athletic Association said Wednesday that competition can
begin Aug. 19 and 21 for lower-risk sports like golf, tennis and
cross country, but it held off on allowing the start of
football, volleyball and soccer games during the coronavirus
The group said it will make decisions about competition
timelines for the latter three sports by Aug. 20, dependent on
how the spread of COVID-19 is trending. Athletes in all sports
but football can start practice on Aug. 12, while football
practices with full player pads and equipment will be delayed a
week until Aug. 17.
The MHSAA's representative council voted to cancel scrimmages in
all fall sports and limited the number of teams that can compete
in regular-season tournaments, invitationals and other
Girls volleyball and girls swimming and diving are contingent on
whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifts a prohibition on indoor
sports facilities. Practices can begin outdoors if possible. It
was not immediately clear how high school sports may be affected
by the governor's requirement that participants in much of the
state—those regions in phase five of her reopening plan—keep at
least 6 feet apart ``at all times'' during such activities.
Phasing in competition is designed to deter the spread of the
virus the MHSAA said.
Executive director Mark Uyl said offseason training was a
positive for athletes this summer and it is ``of utmost
importance to continue athletic activity moving forward. If we
take a month off, our students will find opportunities to
compete through non-school entities that may not be as focused
He said the association will make ``wise decisions based on
medical guidance'' and the ``easy way out'' would have been to
postpone sports until next spring.
``If we don't play this fall, it won't be because we didn't make
every effort to do so,`` Uyl said.