MHSAA hockey schedules adjusted

EAST LANSING — High school hockey teams may feel a bit of a squeeze in their regular-season schedules even as the postseason will be stretched out beginning next winter.

The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association decided to spread out the hockey tournament season from two weeks to three as teams that make it to their respective state championship games have been forced to play six games in two weeks.

But the group at its Winter Meeting on March 22 decided not to lengthen the overall season, continuing to allow the start of the season around mid-November and still ending the playoffs on the second Saturday of March.

So teams will be allowed to fit in 25 regular-season games in one less week of a regular season, according to an MHSAA email. The postseason tournament will now commence on the third Monday before the finals.

Usually topics addressed at the winter meeting are taken up again at its spring meeting in early May, but the council decided the hockey proposal needed immediate action as next year’s schedules are already being prepared by schools.

Other topics discussed may be voted on in May. One concerned a proposal for seeding teams in basketball, including a summary of seeding that already takes place in team wrestling and lacrosse, while another proposed changes in the strength-of-schedule formula for football qualifying.

There was also discussion on adjustments to a new sport-specific transfer rule to take effect next school year.