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Michigan High School Athletic Association announces winter sports plan

Marquette’s Rayna Warchock makes a pass against Escanaba on Jan. 14 at Marquette Senior High School. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association approved adjustments to the regular season schedule for indoor winter sports, which under current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders may restart their seasons Saturday, Jan. 16.

All winter sports activity — including practices — had been paused by the MDHHS on Nov. 18 to decrease spread of COVID-19.

“The council has been working to give schools as much local flexibility as possible while putting together their winter seasons schedules,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This flexible planning has been required of us all since June, and we will continue to advocate for kids in all seasons with our continued goal of three seasons played to completion.”

Girls and boys alpine skiing, with all activity taking place outdoors, was allowed by the MDHHS to resume its season Monday and remains underway.

If the MDHHS pause ends as scheduled, indoor practices may begin again Jan. 16, with first competitions on Friday, Jan. 22, for basketball, hockey, bowling and swimming and diving; and Jan. 25 for wrestling, gymnastics and competitive cheer.

The council also approved one-year changes to competition limits in hockey and wrestling.

In hockey, teams may play two games on one nonschool day on two dates this season — with four games total during a two-week period if this takes place.

Wrestling teams are allowed two dates of competition per week this season, with competition limited to four teams at a site. In addition, three matches per student per day of competition are allowed.

The council also approved changes to winter tournament schedules, pushing championships in most sports back to allow for regular seasons to be extended due to the late start.

Start dates for spring sports have not been affected at this time.

If future orders further delay activity beyond Jan. 16, MHSAA staff and the Representative Council will revise these plans to address both winter and spring sports. If orders are amended to allow activity to begin earlier, the first days of practice and competition will also be moved up.

These are the dates:

Girls basketball — Districts, March 8-12; regionals, March 16-18; quarterfinals, March 22; semifinals, March 24; championships, March 26

Boys basketball — Districts, March 9-13; regionals, March 17-19; quarterfinals, March 23; semifinals, March 25; championships, March 27

Bowling — Regionals, March 19-20; finals, March 26-27

Competitive cheer — Districts, March 5-6; regionals, March 13; finals, March 19-20

Gymnastics — Regionals, March 20; finals, March 26-27

Hockey — Regionals, March 15-20; finals, March 25-27

Swimming and diving (U.P.) — Finals, Feb. 27

Wrestling — District week, March 1; regional week, March 8; team finals, March 19-20; individual finals, March 26-27

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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