Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today called on the Michigan High School Athletic Association to consider postponing some fall sports until the spring season.
"I am calling on the Michigan High School Athletic Association to consider postponing fall sports that have the impossibility of social distancing, to consider moving those to the spring," Whitmer said during a press conference Tuesday.
Social distancing is being practiced throughout the state to thwart the spread of COVID-19.
She said the MHSAA could run some of the more individualized sports like track and field, tennis and golf in the fall.
Whitmer said she expects the MHSAA to make a decision somewhere around July 20-25.
Football, boys soccer, volleyball and perhaps girls swim and dive would be the sports most likely impacted. Other sports like boys water polo and field hockey, are not governed by the MHSAA.
The 2019-20 MHSAA season ended prematurely at the tail end of the winter sports season, as Saline girls' basketball team rolled towards the regional championship game and as the state-qualifying Hornets on the boys swim and dive team prepped for the state championship. The entire spring sports season was wiped out as in-class school was canceled.
Speaking to The Detroit Free Press, MHSAA Director Mark Uyl said the organization was willing "to be creative" if it meant reaching the stated goal of having three sports seasons in 2020-21.
The MI Safe Schools Roadmap permits athletics to resume during Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan, which also allows in-class instruction to resume. Michigan is currently in phase 4.
According to the MI Safe Schools Roadmap, during phase 4, athletics will require:
- complying with MHSAA and National Federation of State High School Associations guidance.
- Proper hygiene techniques before and after practices, events and gatherings.
- Confirmation that every participant is healthy and without symptoms before and event.
- Disinfectant of all equipment before and after use.
- Facial coverings worn during school bus trips. Cleaning and disinfecting of buses before and after every use.
- Social distancing of spectators. Crowds limited o 100 people at outdoor events. Indoor spectator events are suspended.
- Clearly marked water bottles for individual use.
- No handshakes, fistbumps and other unnecessary contact.
- Suspension of indoor weight rooms and conditioning activities that require shared equipment.
In phase five, requirements give way to strong recommendations and recommendations. Some come with eased restrictions. For example, indoor events will be limited to 50 spectators. Outdoor events will be limited to 250 people.