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MHSAA approves Jan. 16 start for indoor winter sports

The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Represntative Council approved an adjusted regular season schedule for indoor winter sports on Wednesday.

The adjustment allows the indoor sports to restart on Saturday, Jan. 16 under current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders.

The MDHHS paused high school sports activities Nov. 18 to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Girls and boys alpine skiing resumed Monday.

“The Council has been working to give schools as much local flexibility as possible while putting together their winter seasons schedules,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said. “This flexible planning has been required of us all since June, and we will continue to advocate for kids in all seasons with our continued goal of three seasons played to completion.”

The MHSAA said if the MDHHS order ends, indoor practices can begin Jan. 16 with first competitions on Jan. 22 for basketball, ice hockey, bowling, swimming and diving. Competitive cheer, gymanstics and wrestling can compete starting Jan. 25.

The Council also approved one-year changes to competition limits in hockey and wrestling. In hockey, teams can play two games on one non-school day on two separate dates this season, with four games during those two weeks when that opportunity is taken. Wrestling teams are alowed two dates of competition per week this eason, with competition restricted to four teams at a site and three matches per student per competition day.

The Council also approved changes to the winter tournament schedule, moving back championships in allowing regular season extensions because of the late start.

Girls basketball districts run March 8, March 10 and March 12. Boys districts run March 9, March 11 and March 13. Girls finals are March 26 and boys March 27.

Hockey regionals are March 15-20. Finals will be held March 25-27.

Upper Peninsula swimming and diving finals will be held Feb. 27. Lower Peninsula boys dive regionals are March 18 and finals are March 26-27. Gymnastics regionals are March 20 and finals are March 26-27. Bowling regionals are March 19-20 with finals March 26-27.

Wrestling districts are the week of March 1, regionals are March 8, team finals are March 19-20 and individual finals are March 26-27.

Start dates of Spring sports are not affected as of Wednesday, the MHSAA said. If current orders further delay activity beyond Jan. 16, the MHSAA staff and Representative Council will update plans addressing winter and spring sports. If current orders are amended to allow activity to begin earlier, the MHSAA said the first days of practice and competition will be moved up accordingly.

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