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Michigan to phase in start of high school sports competition

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan High School Athletic Association said Wednesday that competition can begin Aug. 19 and 21 for lower-risk sports like golf, tennis and cross country but held off on allowing the start of football, volleyball and soccer games during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group said it will make decisions about competition timelines for the latter three sports by Aug. 20. Athletes in all sports but football can start practice on Aug. 12, while football — with full player pads and equipment — will be delayed a week until Aug. 17.

The MHSAA’s representative council voted to cancel scrimmages in all fall sports and limited the number of teams that can compete in regular-season tournaments, invitationals and other multi-team events.

Girls volleyball and girls swimming and diving are contingent on whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifts a prohibition on indoor sports facilities. They can start practices outdoors if possible.

MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said offseason training was a positive for athletes this summer and it is “of utmost importance to continue athletic activity moving forward. If we take a month off, our students will find opportunities to compete through non-school entities that may not be as focused on safety.”

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