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MHSAA: 2020-21 Winter Sports Season to Start on Time

The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Friday that 2020-21 winter sports will begin on time.

Most high school winter sports being practice during the first three weeks of November, with competitions beginning mid-November and early December.

Scrimmages will not be permitted for any winter sport. The number of teams at regular-season events for competitive cheer, gymnastics, swimming and diving and wrestling its limited to four. Bowling and ski competitions are limited to a maximum of 72 competitors at one event. There are no school/team limits for hockey and basketball, as those teams are permitted to play only one game per day, with fans leaving after their game is complete.

Two spectators per participant are permitted at all regular-season events.

“The Council believes it is safer to begin winter practices on time, and keep athletes in school programs where safety precautions are always in effect,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said in a statement. “With the vastly different circumstances faced by schools in different regions all over the state, an on-time start still allows schools to decide when they feel most comfortable beginning activity – and allows all of them to slowly ramp up their frequency of activity and numbers of spectators attending competitions.

“But let’s be clear: Our statewide COVID-19 numbers have to get better. In order for our schools to continue playing sports this winter, and in order for fans to be there to cheer them on, we must continue working to slow down this virus.”

As per Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, face coverings must be worn by student-athletes during practices and competitions for basketball, competitive cheer, hockey and wrestling. Student-athletes in bowling, gymnastics, skiing and swimming and diving are not required to wear face coverings, as all sport allow for proper social distancing.

The MHSAA will release sport-specific guidelines next week.