MHSAA Representative Council Announces Schedule to Complete Fall Sports, Resume Winter

MHSAA Representative Council Announces Schedule to Complete Fall Sports, Resume Winter

The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association approved today an adjusted schedule to restart and conclude Fall Tournaments in football, girls volleyball and downstate girls swimming & diving, and also to resume Winter sports after the three-week “pause” in activity ordered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) scheduled to end Dec. 9.

The MDHHS announced Nov. 15 a three-week pause to various activities including school sports, effective Nov. 18, in hopes of halting the state’s rising infections due to COVID-19.

The volleyball and swimming & diving tournaments have one week remaining, with MHSAA Finals for both previously scheduled for Nov. 21. The 11 and 8-Player Football Playoffs also are nearing their conclusions, with the 8-player postseason two games from completion and 11-player down to its final three rounds. Winter practices for all but boys basketball, bowling, skiing and wrestling had begun for high school teams.

If allowed by the MDHHS, practice would resume for all three Fall sports Dec. 9, with tournaments scheduled as follows:

  • Volleyball: Quarterfinals in all four divisions would be played Tuesday, Dec. 15, with Semifinals played Dec. 17-18 and Finals on Saturday, Dec. 19. Those final two rounds would be played at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena, as previously scheduled.
  • Swimming & Diving (LP only): All three Lower Peninsula Finals would be conducted Tuesday, Dec. 22 (diving) and Wednesday, Dec. 23 (swimming) with three high schools each hosting one meet. This allows for a two-week practice window for all participating swimmers who previously met and entered qualification times, and for divers who previously qualified at Regional meets.
  • Football: 11-Player Regional Finals and 8-Player Semifinals would be played Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Wednesday Dec. 16; 11-Player Semifinals and 8-Player Finals would be played Dec. 21-22, the 8-player championship games at Midland Community Stadium; 11-Player Finals will be played Monday, Dec. 28, and Tuesday Dec. 29 at Ford Field.

For Winter sports, the Council approved resuming practices on Dec. 9 if allowed by the MDHHS, with competition to begin Jan. 4.

“We understand where COVID numbers were trending, and that’s why we have been supportive of the order to pause,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But these Fall sports deserve closure, and this strategy provides the best opportunities without further interruptions to a normal course of training and competition.

“A very small percentage of our teams remain active in our Fall tournaments, also limiting potential exposure to the virus across the state. Meanwhile, by waiting until January to begin Winter competition, the Council is allowing our teams to continue activity but also restricting the mixing of communities to further promote reducing COVID spread.”

The Council meets again Dec. 4 for its annual Fall Meeting, and at that time will consider possible tournament adjustments necessary due to the shortened Winter competition season.

The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

MHSAA Suspends Fall Tournaments, Winter Sports Per MDHHS Emergency Order

MHSAA Suspends Fall Tournaments, Winter Sports Per MDHHS Emergency Order

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has suspended all middle/high school sports activities (practices and contests) effective immediately  per the emergency order to pause activity announced Sunday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The MHSAA supports the actions needed by our state government and health department leaders.  All of us need to do our part now to reverse the concerning COVID numbers in Michigan to give all of our students the chance to participate, practice and compete again as we have been able to do safely since August.

The only allowed coach-player contact until December 8 or the new restrictions are lifted is virtual contact (ZOOM meetings for example).

From MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl:

“We understand the need for action, and we will explore all options to complete our Fall tournaments when restrictions are lifted. We will assess everything over the next three weeks relative to Fall and Winter sports and come up with a plan that keeps us connected to our goal, for months, of having three seasons that are played to their conclusions.”

Additional updates will be posted as necessary.

2020-21 Winter Sport Registration Information and Start Dates

2020-21 Winter Sport Registration Information and Start Dates

Winter Sport Registration Process

  1. The winter sports registration page is active. All students participating in a winter sport will need to complete their registration before he/she is eligible to compete.  Through the registration page, parents will be able to take care of pay-to-play fees online.  Click here for the winter sports registration page.
  2. MHSAA Physical Forms are available both in the high school office and by clicking here.  Students must submit their physician-signed physical form to the high school office prior to participating in a fall sport!  As a reminder, this requirement has been waived for the 2020-21 school year for all students with a valid physical form on file (students will still need to complete the MHSAA Annual Sports Health Questionnaire Form).  Click here for more information on this important change to the physical form requirement for 2020-21.

Winter Sport Start Date and Coach Contact Information (schedules available at this link)

  • Alpine Skiing
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 16
    • Coach Contact:  Gabby Gencheff; gabbygencheff@gmail.com
  • Boys Basketball
    • First Practice Date: Monday, November 30
    • Varsity Coach Contact:  Brad Nelson; bjnelson@mapsnet.org
    • JV Coach Contact:  Joe Havican; havgo@charter.net
    • Freshman Coach Contact:  Jake Kiesby; jakiesby@nmu.edu
  • Bowling
    • First Practice Date: Monday, November 12
    • Coach Contact:  Bob Holm; RobertHolm300@gmail.com
  • Figure Skating
    • First Practice Date:  Sunday, November 1
    • Coach Contacts:  Jamie Weigold; isk8rjw@charter.net
  • Girls Basketball
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 9
    • Varsity Coach Contact:  Ben Smith; besmith@mapsnet.org
    • JV Coach Contact:  Rich Ledy; havgo@charter.net
    • Freshman Coach Contact:  Peggy Lagina; plagina@mapsnet.org
  • Gymnastics
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 2
    • Coach Contact:  Bridget Johnson; bridgetjjohnson@yahoo.com
  • Hockey
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 2
    • Varsity Coach Contact:  Doug Garrow; douggarrow@yahoo.com
    • JV Coach Contact:  Brian Nebel; brneebs19@aol.com
  • Nordic Skiing
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 2
    • Superiorland Ski Club Contact:  Steve Carr; spcarr@charter.net
  • Swimming & Diving
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 9
    • Varsity Coach Contact:  Nate McFarren; nmcfarren@mapsnet.org
  • Wrestling
    • First Practice Date:  Monday, November 16
    • Varsity Coach Contact:  Tony Gentz; tgentz1@hotmail.com

2020-21 Handbook and Code of Conduct – click here to view

2020-21 Pay-to-Play Policy – click here to view

MSHS Athletics Now Accepting Applications for Alpine Skiing Head Coach

MSHS Athletics Now Accepting Applications for Alpine Skiing Head Coach

MSHS Athletics is now accepting applications to fill the vacancy for its Boys/Girls Alpine Skiing Head Coach position.

All interested candidates must apply and submit application materials through the MAPS Human Resources website at this link.  The deadline for applications is October 20, 2020.

Questions regarding the open position can be directed to Alex Tiseo, MSHS Athletic Director, at atiseo@mapsnet.org.

MSHS School Spirit Face Masks for Sale

MSHS School Spirit Face Masks for Sale

Show your school spirit at upcoming home athletics events by purchasing an MSHS face mask with the Marquette “Block M” logo on it!

Masks are available for $10/mask and come in both black and red (see picture below).  Material is a breathable 100% polyester with sublimated logo and elastic ear straps (one size fits all).

All proceeds to go benefit MSHS boys and girls athletics teams.

To purchase, contact the MSHS Athletics Department at atiseo@mapsnet.org or 906-225-5362.

Football Home Game Protocol for Spectators

Football Home Game Protocol for Spectators

The 2020 football season will offer some unique circumstances and some less than ideal conditions, but fortunately also provides us with the opportunity to give our student-athletes an experience that is positive, competitive, safe and, above all else, fun for everyone involved!

To accomplish our goal of providing this experience to our student-athletes and participating in all of our scheduled contests for the 2020 season, we need the patience and assistance of all of our spectators.  Please remember that this time is all about our students and it’s on us to do our part so that they can get the most out of this season.

Home football games at MSHS this season will take place with limited spectators in the stadium.

Guidelines for Admission and Home Game Operation:

  • Two (2) tickets will be allotted to every football student-athlete and coach (both home and away).  Students must designate the names of their guests on the ticket lists provided to teams at the start of each week.  Lists are then collected after practice on the day prior to the game.  No changes can be made after this time.
  • Two (2) tickets will also be allotted to members of the MSHS Marching Band, MSHS Cheer Team and MSHS Dance Team.
  • Guests will be verified at the ticket gate prior to entry.
  • Face masks are required to be worn at all times by all entering the facility (this includes student-athletes and coaches).  There are no exceptions.
  • No admission will be charged at home games this season, but donations to support our athletics programs are most appreciated.
  • While seated in the stands, fans not residing in the same household are asked to social distance themselves from other spectators.
  • Vehicles are not permitted to park along the fence anywhere surrounding the MSHS Football Stadium.
  • Restrooms will be available.
  • Concession stand will not be open.

Guidelines for Hillside Spectators:

  • Fans are permitted to enjoy games from the MSHS hillside.
  • Parking must be done on the street or in a legal parking spot.  No vehicles are to be parked on the grass.
  • Fans in attendance are encouraged to wear masks and practice safe social distancing from those not residing in the same household.
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption are not permitted.

Alternative Viewing/Listing Options:

  • Through the REDspn program, all home football games will be live streamed through the NFHS Network.  Cost of the NFHS Network is $10.99/month.  Click here for the REDspn page.
  • Radio coverage for all varsity home games is provided by Fox Sports Marquette and can be found on 105.1 and 99.9 FM.

With your help, we can keep ourselves and each other safe while providing our students with the best experience possible this fall.

Volleyball Matches To Be Held Without Spectators to Begin 2020 Season

Volleyball Matches To Be Held Without Spectators to Begin 2020 Season

The Great Northern Conference (GNC) has announced that volleyball matches will be held without spectators to begin the 2020 season.  Conference members include Escanaba, Gladstone, Kingsford, Marquette and Menominee.

The decision to hold contests without spectators in attendance is based on a concentrated and proactive effort from members to help protect the return to in-person education taking place at schools this year. Keeping the health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, staff and officials at the forefront of return to activity planning and minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 were the basis of discussion among conference athletic directors and school administrators.

The no-spectator format will ensure schools that all student-athletes, coaches and essential staff in the game environment have been pre-screened for COVID-related symptoms and can best adhere to the guidelines set forth in the return to play resource published by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).  It is hoped that a revised format allowing for a limited number of spectators to attend matches could eventually be adopted as restrictions lessen and a safe return to in-person education has occurred.

In the meantime, member schools have taken measures for families, friends and fans to be able to view matches through live video streaming capabilities that will be broadcasted through the NFHS Network.  A $10.99 monthly fee or $69.99 annual pass allows users to stream thousands of live and on-demand high school sporting events from across the country on any device.
MHSAA Update: Boys Soccer and Volleyball to Begin Competition On-Time; Fall Practice Allowances Made for Football and Spring Sports

MHSAA Update: Boys Soccer and Volleyball to Begin Competition On-Time; Fall Practice Allowances Made for Football and Spring Sports

MHSAA staff has been working diligently for months with the Governor’s office and health department officials on return to activity plans during the COVID pandemic.  On June 30, Governor Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools Roadmap and it tasked the MHSAA with creating and publishing the guidance for the reopening of school sports.  For the past eight weeks, staff has worked to fulfill this mandate and has published all materials at MHSAA.com.  During this process, the MHSAA has made certain that athletic guidance complies with all Executive Orders of the Governor.

Today, the Representative Council approved the start of competition in Regions 6 and 8 of the state in boys soccer and volleyball.

Based on today’s happenings, the following items were approved by the Representative Council today, subject to current and future Executive Orders.

  1. Competition in boys soccergirls swimming & diving and volleyball in Regions 6 and 8 may begin as scheduled on August 21 with all published safety protocols being followed.  All individuals not in active participation (players in the game and officials) must wear a face covering at all times which includes substitutes, coaches, game workers/management, auxiliary or support personnel, medical personnel, media members and spectators.  School personnel, not contest officials, are responsible for face covering compliance. In Regions 6 and 8, the outdoor limitations are 25% of the venue capacity or 500, whichever is smaller and includes all persons (players, coaches, officials, game workers, medical personnel, media and spectators).  In Regions 6 and 8, the indoor gymnasium limitations are 25% of the venue capacity or 250 individuals, whichever is smaller, that again includes all persons.   Indoor pools in these two Regions are limited to 25% of the bather capacity for that pool.
  2. In Regions 1-5 and 7, competition in boys soccergirls swimming & diving and volleyball may begin upon the issuance of future Executive Order(s) permitting soccer competition and opening of indoor school facilities for volleyball and swimming competition.  Under current Executive Orders, these three sports in Regions 1-5 and 7 may continue to practice outdoors under published protocols but may not compete within these six Regions.  Schools could travel into Regions 6 and 8 and compete based on the guidance above.
  3. Beginning on Monday, August 24, out-of-season football is allowed 16 voluntary coach-player contact days (with more than four players) with helmets only until October 31.  Consistent with the Representative Council’s decision last week to move the football season from fall to spring, no competition or practice with students from other schools is allowed on any of the 16 voluntary coach-player contact days and this allowance is for practice sessions on-site at school facilities if the school permits with all stated safety protocols being followed.  The guidelines from the Acclimatization Week on August 10-16 shall be followed on all coach-player contact days used with all activity taking place outdoors. Non sport-specific conditioning continues to be permitted with all published safety protocols. The four-player rule resumes on November 1 for football.  The MHSAA has heard from numerous schools and individuals about the need for students to stay connected with school coaches for a variety of wellness and mental health reasons.  This allowance for football seeks to address that concern.
  4. Beginning on Tuesday, September 8, all spring sports are allowed 16 voluntary, out-of-season coach-player contact days (more than 4 players) until October 31.  No competition or practice with students from other schools is allowed on any of the 16 voluntary coach-player contact days; this allowance is for practice sessions on-site at school facilities if the school permits with all stated safety protocols being followed.  Non sport-specific conditioning continues to be permitted with all published safety protocols.  Guidance for spring sport contact days will be available on each sport’s home page at MHSAA.com by September 1.  These will be similar to the protocols used during the summer with all activity taking place outdoors. The four-player rule resumes on November 1 for spring sports.   The MHSAA has heard from numerous schools about the need for students to stay connected with school coaches for a variety of wellness and mental health reasons, especially for spring sports that lost entire seasons last spring.  This allowance for all spring sports seeks to address that concern.
  5. The four-player rule continues for winter sports following all published safety protocols.  This activity must take place outdoors, subject to current and future Executive Orders.
  6. Sideline cheer activities (practices and cheering for fall contests) are allowed until the preseason downtime for competitive cheer begins on October 25. Sideline cheer activities must follow the protocol of using face-coverings, physical distancing and no stunting which keeps this activity in the low-risk group.  This activity must take place outdoors, subject to current and future Executive Orders.
  7. MHSAA junior high/middle school regulations allow fall sports practices to begin on Monday, August 24 at school facilities if the school permits with all stated safety protocols being followed. Schools may proceed in all middle school sports except football this fall based on decisions of leagues and/or individual schools.
  8. Finally, the Council reaffirmed that MHSAA Handbook, Regulation II, Sections 9-11 limits a student to only one football season in a school year.  For example, if a student participates in fall football in a different state, that student would be ineligible for a second football season in the spring in Michigan even if an exception to the transfer rule were met.

Click here for the Fall 2020 Athletics Schedule Page

Football to Move to Spring for 2020-21

Football to Move to Spring for 2020-21

The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association today announced it will move the 2020 Fall football season to Spring 2021, due to football’s higher risk for spreading COVID-19, with the rest of Fall sports proceeding as scheduled.

The football season switch was made based on consultation with state health department officials and after surveying MHSAA member high schools on their progress and preferences after the first four days of practice. Football is considered a high-risk sport for potential spread of the COVID-19 virus because of its level of player-to-player contact.

“At the end of the day, we did everything we could to find a path forward for football this fall,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But while continuing to connect with the Governor’s office, state health department officials, our member schools’ personnel and the Council, there is just too much uncertainty and too many unknowns to play football this fall.

“No one is willing to take the risk of COVID being passed on because of a high-risk sport. Decisions have to be made on our other sports as well, but none of those carry the same close, consistent, and face-to-face contact as football.”

Click Here for Full Press Release from the MHSAA

With the postponement of the 2020-21 football season, all student participation fees received will be refunded to payers in the form that they were received (credit card, check, etc.).  These refunds will start to take place on Monday, August 17.

Cheer Practice Set To Begin August 10

Cheer Practice Set To Begin August 10

The first team meeting and practice of the 2020 Sideline Cheer season will be held at the MSHS Football Field at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 10.

Please note the following protocol/guidelines that will be adhered to during all tryout sessions:

  • All participating student-athletes must wear a mask to arrive at the facility and go through the pre-screening process.
  • Once through the pre-screening process and socially distanced, student-athletes will be permitted to remove their masks prior to the start of activity.
  • Student-athletes will want to bring their own water for use during activity.

Students must have a valid physical form on file in order to participate.  If using a valid physical form from the 2019-20 academic year, students must submit the MHSAA Sports Health Questionnaire.  An explanation of the physical exam requirement for the 2020-21 academic year can be found at this link.

Resources: