MHSAA’s plan for winter sports

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RHS Competitive Cheer at Regionals 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services put a pause on all winter sports on November 18, 2020, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Although the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has finally said that indoor winter sports can return to their regular schedule for 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Wednesday, January 14 that only non-contact practices can begin on January 16 – leaving basketball, wrestling, hockey, and competitive cheer waiting until Feb 1 to begin contact.
According to an MHSAA press release, swimming and bowling may start or resume their seasons on January 16 and other winter sports teams may begin non-contact activities.
Competitions can start on February 1 but this could change as it has in the past.
This has many teams excited because they can finally get back to what they have been missing but the same restrictions from before remain in place.
Sophomore Mariah Vargas said, “ Being on the competitive cheer team during the pandemic has been tough but I am really looking forward to getting back on the mat.”
Changes to the Winter Tournament schedule were approved by the council resulting in championships in most sports to get pushed back, therefore the sports season can extend longer due to the late start.
“ I am glad they are trying to push our season, I really want to get back to wrestling and see what kind of rules we have to follow to stay safe,” sophomore Zach Fritz said.
As of right now, face-to-face team meetings must be held virtually under the current circumstances.
But starting January 16 the MHSAA says that teams can host open gyms or group workouts with their team in a non-contact situation. Many sports will have to adjust to this rule as many of the teams involve contact.
MDHHS says that weight rooms are allowed to be open during the school day but cannot be open before or after school for any extracurricular activity.
Dates for sports’ Districts, Regionals, Semi-Finals, and Finals have been set as of January 13: girls basketball will have their Districts on March 22, 24, and 26, and boys basketball will have their Districts on March 23, 25, and 27.
Bowling will have their Regionals on March 19 and 20 and their Finals on March 26 and 27.
Competitive Cheer will have their Districts on March 15-20, Regionals March 22-24.
Ice hockey’s Regionals will be on March 15-20 and their Finals on March 25-27.
For swimming and diving, the boys’ team will have their Regionals on March 18 and their Finals on March 26 and 27.
Wrestling’s District week is March 15-20, their Regionals are the week of March 22-28, their Team Finals are on March 31, and their Individual Finals on April 2-3.
“It is going to be a tough change to overcome and get used to but I am sure Coach Adkins has a plan for us so we can finish our season.” junior Ethan Breaux said.
As a lot of dates were changed, hopefully, the sports teams can adjust and prepare safely for these events.