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MHSAA Representative Council approves schedule for fall tournaments in December

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MHSAA Representative Council approves schedule for fall tournaments in December 2020. (WWMT/File)

The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association approved a schedule for resuming the fall post-season tournaments for football, volleyball and swimming and diving on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

The council also approved winter sports practices to begin after the three-week pause handed down by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that was expected to end on Dec. 9.

“We understand where COVID numbers were trending, and that’s why we have been supportive of the order to pause,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But these fall sports deserve closure, and this strategy provides the best opportunities without further interruptions to a normal course of training and competition."

Volleyball, swimming and diving were originally scheduled to conclude on Nov. 21, but the new schedule for volleyball has the quarterfinals scheduled to be played on Dec. 15, followed by the semifinals on Dec. 17-18 and the season would conclude with finals being played on Saturday, Dec. 19. The final two rounds were scheduled to be played at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

Swimming and diving finals were scheduled for Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 with three high schools hosting a meet. The delay allows for a two-week of practice for all the swimmers who qualified.

The 11-man football teams had three weeks remaining when the pause took effect and the 8-man teams had the semifinals and finals remaining. 11-man regional finals and 8-man semifinals were scheduled to be played on Tuesday, Dec. 15 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The semifinals for 11-man and 8-man finals would be played on Dec. 21 and 22. The 8-player finals will be played at Midland Community Stadium. 11-player finals will still be played at Ford Field as originally planned, but were scheduled to move to Dec. 28 and 29.

As for winter sports, practices may resume or begin on Dec. 9, if allowed by MDHHS and games can start to be played on Jan. 4, 2021.

“A very small percentage of our teams remain active in our fall tournaments, also limiting potential exposure to the virus across the state. Meanwhile, by waiting until January to begin Winter competition, the Council is allowing our teams to continue activity but also restricting the mixing of communities to further promote reducing COVID spread.” Uyl said.

The council plans to have another meeting on Dec. 4 for its annual fall meeting and would look at making changes to tournaments due to the shortened winter sports season.