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Sunday August 9, 2020
MHSAA: Football, Volleyball Still Planned For Fall

EAST LANSING---The Michigan High School Athletic Association responded on Wednesday to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's press conference from the day before where she requested that it move fall sports like football and volleyball to next spring to preserve social distancing.

In a letter to the MHSAA Community, Director Mark Uyl said that the association still plans to hold football this fall as scheduled. Uyl says that as of now, the MHSAA is prepared to hold all three seasons (fall, winter, spring) in the 2020-21 school year.

Uyl says that there could be some changes made depending on what the coronavirus does over the next few weeks. He says they don't want to make a decision now, with some uncertainty about whether the virus will go up or down during that time.

He says they plan to make final decisions, so local schools can plan for the athletic calendar, by late July.

Dear MHSAA Community,

We hope that you and your family continue to be safe and healthy. Allow us to provide the following update.


First of all, there have been no changes or updates to the Summer Guidance #2 document from June 9. These continue to be the regulations for all summer activity for member schools and their staff members. All of us must continue to follow both the letter and spirit of this guidance document in doing the right things NOW to create the fall, winter and spring sports opportunities we want. As a reminder, here is the link to that document from June 9:


MHSAA Summer Guidance Update 2


Governor Whitmer released the “Return to School Roadmap” on June 30. The Roadmap entrusted the MHSAA with the task of creating the plans, procedures and protocols for the return of educational athletics for all schools. We appreciate the confidence and responsibility that has been given to the association, and we are already deeply engaged in doing our part to bring back athletics safely.


From the Roadmap plan, it is clear that in-person learning and extra-curricular activities are in a much safer place with many more positive options when our entire state is in Phases 5/6 of Governor Whitmer’s plan. To repeat, we must continue to do the right things NOW in all parts of our state to reach and remain in Phases 5/6 for August and beyond.


The MHSAA has been working on concepts for the safe return of school sports since March.

These concepts will now become the plan as directed by the Roadmap. These three points have guided our planning the past several weeks , and will continue to be our focus in the days ahead.

  1. The MHSAA’s current plan is to play all scheduled fall sports in the fall.
     
  2. We will do everything within our control to safely have all three high school sports seasons in 2020-21, even if conditions change that would require creativity to provide those three seasons. We owe it to our kids to plan this way, especially during these uncertain days of the pandemic.
     
  3. Contingency planning has been ongoing since March, and this continues with the release of the Return to School Road Map on June 30. These contingencies reflect our plan to play fall sports as scheduled and to provide three seasons during the school year while also being prepared to operate creatively should that be necessary. One possible contingency for consideration could be a swap of fall and spring sports as there are concerns with indoor sports (volleyball and girls swimming & diving) being able to be conducted in the fall along with differing views on football.

Over the coming days, the MHSAA will be meeting virtually with the leadership of our fall sport coaches associations and MIAAA representatives on a sport-by-sport basis to provide updates, exchange ideas and receive feedback and input from these leaders. This membership-driven feedback and input will be an important part of our planning and decision making.


Circumstances, data and decisions made at the professional and collegiate ranks with their set fall schedules, along with high school associations in other states, will be valuable and instructive over the next few weeks in finalizing MHSAA plans for the fall.

We understand that schools need lead time to plan, and final decisions will be made by late July. It is a challenging balance in waiting as long as possible to have the most current, accurate picture and data points of the probable August situation while also giving everyone involved lead time to adequately prepare and plan.


The only certainty we have had since March is the need to flexible and nimble in light of the public health situation and its ever-changing impact on schools. We will continue to communicate with all involved over the next few weeks as fall details are finalized for our member schools, students, coaches, officials and school communities.


Thank you.

Mark Uyl
MHSAA Executive Director

 

MHSAA Delays Football, Volleyball Competitions
Wednesday July 29, 2020
Upper Peninsula All-Star Football Game Cancelled
Saturday July 11, 2020
Whitmer: MHSAA Should Move Some Fall Sports
Tuesday June 30, 2020
MHSAA Gives Update As Sports Workouts Resume
Tuesday June 9, 2020
MHSAA Announces Changes For 2020-'21 Seasons
Monday April 20, 2020