By Megan Kelley
The Michigan High School Athletic Association recently announced the anticipated starting dates for high school winter sports.
Just as the season was beginning, the MHSAA paused winter sports on Nov. 18. Outdoor athletics, like girls and boys alpine skiing, was allowed to resume on Dec. 21.
Under current orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, indoor athletics will be allowed to restart their season on Jan. 16. First competitions are expected to begin Jan. 22 for basketball, bowling, ice hockey and swimming and diving; and Jan. 25 for competitive cheer, gymnastics and wrestling.
“For our winter sport athletes, practices are allowed to begin on Jan. 16 per the MHSAA. Most of our teams will be starting on Jan. 18. Coaches are communicating to the athletes their official practice information. Competitions are allowed to begin on Jan. 22. We do not have any information yet on if spectators will be allowed,” LOHS Athletic Director Chris Bell said.
“Currently, we are working to reschedule every sport at every level due to the new start and end dates given to us. Schedules will be posted soon on our school district website on the athletics page,” Bell said.
The MHSSA Representative Council also approved one-year changes to competition limits in ice hockey and wrestling.
In hockey, teams may play two games on one non-school day on two dates this season – with four games total during those two weeks when this opportunity is utilized.
Wrestling teams are allowed two dates of competition per week, with competition limited to four teams at a site (and three matches per student per day of competition).
Currently, the start date for spring sports is not expected to be impacted.
Additionally, the remaining 32 teams in the MHSAA Girls Volleyball Tournament and individuals from the 128 schools who have qualified for the Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving Finals restarted their postseasons Jan. 4.
The championship events for both sports are expected to conclude on Jan. 16.
“For our fall season sports, our girls swim team had eight athletes qualify for the state meet. The Division One state meet will be held on Jan. 16 at Hudsonville High School. Our team resumed practice today,” Bell said. “In order to participate, our girls have to participate in a MDHHS Pilot Testing Program, where we are testing our swim athletes three times a week. This is a requirement by the MHSAA and the MDHHS for all fall sports still trying to finish their seasons.”