The Governor and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced updated restrictions today which in turn affects athletics.
Here is the information we received from the Michigan High School Athletic Association today.
Dear MHSAA Community,
With today’s press conference and public release of the MDHHS epidemic order effective as of Saturday, January 16, the following is information we know at this time. With the Representative Council scheduled to meet tomorrow, Jan. 14, along with dozens of additional questions that have already reached us this afternoon, schools should expect additional information and further communication in the next few days.
Here is initial guidance to schools based on today’s announcement and release of the updated MDHHS order:
- No changes have been made to the three remaining fall sports in the MDHHS pilot rapid testing program; since the updated order goes into effect on Saturday, the two fall non-contact sports of girls swimming & diving and volleyball must continue with testing this week.
- Winter teams may continue with OUTDOOR conditioning activities through Friday, Jan. 15.
On Saturday, Jan. 16, the following changes go into effect for school sports:
- The non-contact winter sport of swimming and diving- boys in the LP and both boys and girls in the UP- may begin practices on Jan. 16 and compete starting on Jan. 22.
- The non-contact sports of bowling and gymnastics may begin practice on Jan. 16 and compete starting on Jan. 25.
- The four winter contact sports as defined by MDHHS include basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling. These four sports may begin indoor practices with no physical contact on Jan. 16. There must be at least 6 feet of distance between each occupied workout station with spaces and activities set up to maintain 6 feet between all persons at all times.
- Based on the order, the first day of competition would be on Feb. 1 for these 4 sports with new MHSAA tournament dates. We will provide updated MHSAA tournament dates for these four winter sports by the end of this week.
- The MHSAA will continue to actively advocate for an earlier start to competition and physical contact practices in these sports given the non-school sports activity within our state, and the school and non-school activity in our three bordering states, all include competition now in winter sports, including wrestling.
- Spring sports and fall sports not involved in the MDHHS pilot testing program may begin indoor 4-player workouts and resume conditioning activities on Jan. 16. Note that all of this out-of-season activity must be NON-PHYSICAL CONTACT work at this time.
- Masks are required of all participants except when actively participating in swimming & diving and gymnastics.
- School weight rooms are now open for lifting and conditioning with physical distancing and NO PHYSICAL CONTACT activities and masks being worn at all times.
- Under this updated order, spectators for winter sports are limited to 100 persons, except for stadiums and arenas, which are capped at 250. Note that bowling center capacity is limited to 25% of total occupancy set by the local fire marshal.
The Representative Council will be meeting tomorrow to address new calendar issues and other challenges that today’s MDHHS announcement created. We will communicate with all schools following the meeting with more updated information.