Michigan high school basketball on hold, but other winter sports start next week

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) – The high school basketball season in Michigan will be pushed back based on the latest COVID-19 orders, but three sports will begin competition over the next two weeks.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is allowing non-contact basketball, ice hockey, wresting and competitive cheer practices to begin on Monday. Competition in those sports won’t begin until a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic order banning contact sports ends on Feb. 1.

The MHSAA will adjust season schedules and postseason tournament dates for those four sports later this week.

Boys and girls skiing started in December, because that is an outdoor non-contact sport that doesn’t face as many limits under Michigan’s current coronavirus restrictions. Gymnastics, bowling and swimming/diving can begin practices on Saturday.

Gymnastics and bowling will begin competition on Jan. 25 while swimming/diving meets will begin Jan. 22. Those three sports are considered non-contact and are allowed under the revised Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic order taking effect Saturday.

“We are glad to have three more sports join skiing in returning to full activity, but we understand the disappointment and frustration on the part of our athletes and coaches whose sports are not yet able to restart completely,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said.

All indoor winter sports athletes are required to wear face coverings, except gymnasts performing a routine and swimming/diving athletes in the pool. Spectators for all games are limited to 100 and gyms or pools are limited to 250 inside at a time — including spectators, athletes and coaches.

Volleyball and swimming/diving teams from the fall season are concluding their seasons this weekend while football wraps up next week with the 11-player state finals.

Spring sports teams can resume four-player workouts and non-contact conditioning drills on Saturday if they don’t participate in the state rapid COVID-19 testing pilot program.

“We will continue to adjust schedules to provide all of our winter teams as substantial an experience this season as possible, as part of our greater plan this school year to play all three seasons to conclusion,” Uyl said.

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