The plans have changed.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday updated a coronavirus-related executive order that will affect some preparatory winter sports and likely later on the state tournament calendar.
Basketball teams that planned to play games on January 22 will have to adjust the schedules.
“Some new challenges were presented to us today,” said Mark Uyl, executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, on The Huge Show at 1270 (AM).
Three contactless sports, girls gymnastics, girls and boys bowling, and boys swimming and diving, can start practicing on Saturday, while four contact sports can start indoors that day, but with contactless activities, Uyl said.
Gymnastics, bowling, and swimming and diving, which are considered non-contact sports, can begin the competition for swimming and diving on Jan. 22 and gymnastics and bowling on Jan. 25 before the end of this month, Uyl said. State tournaments for those sports, Uyl added, will close in March.
Contact sports of basketball, competitive cheering, hockey and wrestling can begin on Saturday indoors with contactless workouts, with their first leagues scheduled for Feb. 1, Uyl said.
“You have to keep a physical distance. You can’t have physical contact between teammates, (and) no scrimmaging can take place,” Uyl said of contact sports activities. “Those four contact sports will have about 2 1/2 weeks of contactless workouts, and hopefully with the next order we plan for the competition to begin (Feb 1).
“Good news for our contactless winter sports. Frustrating news for the four contact winter sports. We will continue to push for those kids and coaches to compete and play too.”
The MHSAA, Uyl said, will adjust contact sports tournaments to close on dates later than originally scheduled. Those dates will be announced later this week, the MHSAA said in a press release.
Skiing for girls and boys, an outdoor non-contact sport, was allowed to start in December.
At most schools in the state, Uyl said, girls’ basketball teams had practiced for about a week before closing. Boys’ basketball teams have yet to practice and may not be ready to play by Feb. 1, Uyl added.
Uyl expressed concern that Michigan could lose athletes to border states of Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin.
“Those surrounding states are struggling,” said Uyl. “Another reality is that we will have kids who will find activity. We learned this in the fall. That will only make things more challenging in the coming weeks.”
For non-contact sports, masks are required from all participants, except when actively participating in gymnastics and swimming and diving, the release said.
Spectators will be limited to 100 people in school gymnasiums or 250 in stadiums and arenas, according to MDHHS orders, the release added.
Here is another unusual development from an unusually preparatory football season: De La Salle Collegiate will play on its newly constructed field.
When Washington coach Scott Brooks was a player and asked coaches about their profession, the answer was always the same: It’s a lonely job.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice struggled to whistle while wearing a mask. Barry Trotz couldn’t tell if any of his New York Islanders players were skating towards him because his mask had helped his glasses fog up.
ANN ARBOR Juwan Howard watched his team turn another highly anticipated game in one fell swoop.
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