To a divisional format: MHSAA basketball, volleyball to drop Class A-B-C-D setup and go to divisions

Negaunee’s Ielee Shiroda, right, gets the ball underneath the basket past the defense of Manistique’s Emilee McDaniel, left, on Jan. 6 at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee. (Journal file photo)

On the Net: For more information on these changes and the Michigan High School Athletic Association in general, visit its website at


MARQUETTE — The last high school sports to hold their postseason tournaments based on traditional Class A-B-C-D classes — basketball and volleyball — will move to the numeric divisions in the 2018-19 school year.

That’s after the Michigan High School Athletic Association voted to approve that plan at its 19-member Representative Council spring meeting on May 7-8 in Glen Arbor, according to a news release from the MHSAA.

The Representative Council considered 29 committee proposals, with a wide range of issues dealt with in many sports.

Ishpeming’s Desiree Neveau bumps the ball during a Sept. 27 volleyball match at the Hematites’ gym. (Journal file photo)

The volleyball and the girls and boys basketball tourneys will go to numeric divisions — four in the case of these sports — like other sports do.

This change is meant to make the number of teams in each division of the basketball and volleyball tournaments nearly equal.

The divisions will be determined before their seasons begin, also like other sports except football, which is the only sport that doesn’t allow all teams in the tournament and instead qualifies only a limited number.

This plan was examined after a proposal was made by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and an expression of interest to the idea by the state’s volleyball community.

One proposal not adopted was a BCAM plan to seed the basketball tournament for district and regionals, though the Representative Council instructed its staff to examine seeding options for the districts only and present their findings at a later meeting.

More details were listed for the new two-division setup for 8-player football playoffs.

Much like with 11-player, the divisions for the playoff teams will be set by enrollment after the 32 teams are determined. Playoff point average will continue to determine 8-player qualifiers.

Other proposals dealt with limiting collision time in football practices, competitive cheer stunts, hockey rosters and helmet usage, lacrosse scheduling and soccer overtime and shootouts. Other rules affect football, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, wrestling and junior high and middle school sports.

For more information, visit the MHSAA website’s Media Page at

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is