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 The MHSAA announced July 17 its plan to begin fall sports as regularly scheduled, including football, which is set to begin practice Aug. 10. Pictured, a Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day player finds some room in a playoff game last season.

The MHSAA announced July 17 its plan to begin fall sports as regularly scheduled, including football, which is set to begin practice Aug. 10. Pictured, a Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day player finds some room in a playoff game last season.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


MHSAA announces plan to start fall sports

C&G Newspapers | Published July 20, 2020

METRO DETROIT — The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced July 17 its plan to start fall sports as scheduled.

The season includes football, girls volleyball, boys soccer, girls swimming and diving, boys and girls cross country, girls golf, and boys tennis. Girls tennis will commence in the Upper Peninsula only.

Football is slated to begin practice Aug. 10, while the rest of the sports start practicing Aug. 12.

There will be contingency plans in place due to COVID-19. For instance, a high-risk sport, like football, could be postponed mid-season until later in the school year. According to a press release, if all fall sports are suspended, “they will be rescheduled during a reconfigured calendar that would see winter sports begin in November, followed by the conclusion of fall and spring seasons potentially extending into July 2021.”

“Our student-athletes just want to play, and we’ve gone far too long without them playing. But doing so safely, of course, remains the priority,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said in a prepared statement.

The MHSAA Representative Council, which is the Association’s 19-member legislative body, plans to meet July 29 for further discussion and plans.

The MHSAA is still developing sport-specific plans and guidelines that will be available as the seasons approach.

Royal Oak High football coach Ray McMann said the MHSAA has had a very tough job to do “in trying to allow all of our sports to play.”

“As a football coach, the No. 1 priority for me is the safety of both my players and coaches,” he said. “While I want to be optimistic, just like the MHSAA is, it will really be predicated on the numbers (of COVID-19 cases) come Aug. 10. It is important that we as a staff do our job and model how important it is to our players to follow our example if they want to have a fall season.”

All plans, including starting the fall season as expected, are dependent on the progression by schools and regions across the state, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan.

“We remain grateful to the governor for the opportunity to build the schedule and policies for returning sports to schools,” Uyl’s statement continued. “We will continue to support her directives and those of the state and local health departments as we work to create the safest environment for all involved in our activities.”