MI Safe Schools Roadmap Outlines Guidelines for Sports

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Gretchen Whitmer introduced her MI Safe Schools Roadmap.

The 63 page roadmap offers safety protocols and guidelines for schools and activities that hope to resume this fall.

This includes the possibility of athletics.

In the roadmap, there are five phases.

In Phases 1 through 3, there would be no athletics allowed.

Phase 4 presents many required guidelines for the return of sports in schools.

Required guidelines must be implemented by all Michigan schools that serve students grades K-12.

The required guidelines for Phase 4 are:

  • Complying with guidance from the MHSAA and the NFHS.
  • Students and staff must use proper hygiene and confirm they are healthy and have no symptoms.
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Buses can be taken for games and scrimmages, but face masks are required and the bus must be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Spectators must have facial coverings and enter and exit points are needed to prevent crowding.
  • Participants must use their own water bottles.
  • No handshakes, fist bumps, etc.
  • No indoor weightlifting or conditioning, only outside with social distancing.
  • No large scale indoor events, outdoor events must be held to 100 people, while practicing social distancing.

Phase 5 is more relaxed and has two different types of guidelines.

Strongly recommended and recommended guidelines are optional and all schools have the choice to implement these safety protocols.

The strongly recommended guidelines are:

  • Indoor spectators are limited to 50 people, outdoor spectators are increased to 250, both maintaining social distancing.
  • Students and staff must use proper hygiene and confirm they are healthy and have no symptoms.
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Buses used to transport for games and scrimmages must be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Participants must use their own water bottles.

The recommended guidelines are:

  • Indoor weight lifting and conditioning are allowed with social distancing and sharing of equipment should be avoided.
  • No handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

Governor Whitmer and her team are working directly with the MHSAA to figure out the best steps moving forward. She said in her Tuesday press conference that she is calling on the MHSAA to delay fall sports that aren’t socially distant until the spring.

“We do not want to put anyone in any predicament,” said Mount Pleasant Athletic Director, Jim Conway. “We do not want to see anymore of this, so decisions will be made based on the health and safety of the kids, the coaches, the parents, anyone that’s involved in athletics. But boy we’re just hoping we can get to the minimum of staying in phase four and getting to phase five.”

While school leaders and athletic directors are willing to do whatever they can to get students back to doing what they love, the task at hand for preparing for it will be difficult.

“There’s so many logistical changes when you look at a regular season starting up and getting the correct amount of weeks and weekends and stuff like that,” said Cadillac Athletic Director Fred Bryant. “You’ve got your entire schedule for the fall winter and spring of next year and now all the sudden you have to change it.”

“As long as these kids get to compete and have an opportunity and we can do it safely I’ll do whatever I have to do to make sure that happens,” added Bryant.

The MHSAA did not release a statement in connection to the MI Safe Schools Roadmap yet, but should announce more guidelines and decisions on the upcoming school year in a few weeks.

To read the Mi Safe Schools Roadmap in full, click here.

Categories: Coronavirus