High school volleyball, swimming OK’d to restart practices Monday by MHSAA
EAST LANSING — Remaining teams in the Michigan High School Athletic Association volleyball and girls swimming and diving tournaments can restart practice Monday with state finals events scheduled to end on Jan. 16.
That’s according to a sports news release from the MHSAA on Tuesday.
There are 32 teams in four divisions in volleyball and individuals from 128 schools who qualified for the Lower Peninsula girls swimming and diving finals.
Participants in those sports must take part in a rapid testing pilot program created by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, similar to what is scheduled to be conducted starting today for the remaining 72 football teams in their MHSAA tournaments.
The football teams include the Negaunee Miners in the 11-player Division 6 tournament. The Miners have advanced through the first three rounds and are set to play in a regional championship game at Grayling on Saturday, Jan. 9.
A handful of other Upper Peninsula schools are also alive in these sports’ tournaments. In football is Iron Mountain in 11-player Division 8 and North Central in eight-player Division 2, while in volleyball, it’s Calumet in Division 3 and Carney-Nadeau and Rudyard in Division 4.
In all three sports, athletes, coaches and other team personnel directly involved in practice and competition must test using BinaxNOW antigen tests that produce results within 15 minutes.
Teams and individuals in volleyball and swimming will be tested three times a week and must complete one round of negative COVID-19 tests before beginning practice.
Frequency of testing for football teams wasn’t specified previously by the MHSAA, but it was stated that a round of negative testing would be necessary to restart full-contact practice. Football teams had already been able to have non-contact practice on Monday.
In 11-player football, the semifinal round is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 16, and state finals on Jan. 22-23 at a site or sites to be announced. Eight-player semifinals are Jan. 9 and state finals on Jan. 16, also at a site not yet announced.
The MHSAA volleyball tournament will recommence with quarterfinals on Tuesday, Jan. 12, followed by semifinals on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 14-15, and the state finals on Saturday, Jan. 16. The final two rounds will be played at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
Girls swimming and diving only has state finals left, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16, at three downstate sites.
Spectators will not be allowed at competitions for any of these three sports, though the issue may be revisited depending on changing conditions and likely determined by the MDHHS.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.