By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Dec. 18 - The three remaining Fall tournaments still to be completed this 2020 season by the Michigan High School Athletic Association will resume, with teams allowed to restart practice Monday, Dec. 21, according to an announcement today allowing those activities to resume by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and a plan approved by the MHSAA’s Representative Council.
The MHSAA’s Football, Girls Volleyball and Girls Swimming & Diving teams and individuals still participating in tournament play will be allowed to do so as part of an MDHHS pilot rapid testing program designed to gain insight and collect data on the spread of COVID-19 as the MDHHS plans to provide expanded rapid testing availability to schools in January. It is anticipated that specifics and details of the Fall tournament pilot testing program will be coming from the MDHHS.
• The Football Playoffs will begin again Saturday, Jan. 2, with Regional Finals for 11-player teams and Semifinals for 8-player teams. The 8-player championship games in both divisions and all 11-player Semifinals will be played the following Saturday, Jan. 9. The football season will conclude with the 11-Player Finals in all divisions the weekend of Jan. 15-16. All Semifinals in both 11 and 8-player will be played at home sites. Sites for championship games will be finalized soon and posted to the MHSAA Website.
• The Girls Volleyball Tournament will begin again with Quarterfinals on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Semifinals and Finals will be played Jan. 7-9 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
• The Girls Swimming & Diving Finals with return with its three Lower Peninsula Finals competed during the weekend of Jan. 15-16 with one division at each of three locations. Diving would be completed Jan. 15, with swimming the following day..
All previous safety protocols remain in place, and no spectators will be allowed at the Fall tournament events
All indoor Winter sports – which are not part of the pilot rapid testing program – remain on pause from the MDHHS until Jan. 16, although girls and boys alpine skiing season – competed outdoors and following safety protocols including all activity must be outdoors – will be allowed to begin practice Monday, Dec. 21. The Council will meet again Tuesday, Dec. 22, to discuss details for the rest of Winter sports.
All Spring 2021 sports are expected to begin on time and play complete seasons concluding with their traditional MHSAA Tournament dates in May and June.
The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.