Gov. Whitmer, MHSAA say high school football, other sports can begin competing

The Fall 2020 football season has been reinstated today by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced on Thursday.

The announcement came after Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 176 lifted restrictions that previously did not allow the sport to be played.

Whitmer’s executive order also allows for an immediate start of competition for boys soccer, Lower Peninsula girls swimming & diving and girls volleyball on Sept. 9 for schools located in Regions 1-5 and 7 based on the MI Safe Start Plan.

Football could began practicing again on Wednesday, with games planned for the weekend of Sept. 18.

The order also sets spectator limits of two per participant for outdoor and indoor events in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. Oakland County is still in Phase 4.

Statewide football, and competition in those regions for volleyball, soccer and swimming & diving, had been restricted as part of Executive Order 160, which ordered gyms and pools to remain closed and required social distancing in competition to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in areas under Phase 4 of the Safe Start plan.

The MHSAA’s Council had authorized on Aug. 20 the start of competition in volleyball, soccer and swim statewide, pending the authorization of that activity in the specific regions by Whitmer’s office.

The Council also on Aug 14. postponed the Fall 2020 football season to Spring 2021, but voted Thursday to allow for a shortened season this fall.

Football may begin regular-season games Sept. 18, and will play six games beginning with their originally-scheduled Week 4 contests.

All football teams in 11 and 8-player football will qualify for the playoffs during this fall’s shortened season, and then advance through their usual postseason progression with 8-Player Finals the weekend of Nov. 27-28 and 11-Player Finals the weekend of Dec. 4-5.

The Lake Orion Review will publish the football schedule as soon as it is available and have updates on Lake Orion High School sports coverage. — J.N.

 

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