Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Written by Sammy Taormina
MHSAA makes decision regarding start of Fall Season.
Written Wednesday July 29th at 3:10 PM
The MHSAA released a press release regarding what will happen next surrounding the fall season.
The league said that girls golf, boys tennis, cross country, and swimming and diving can begin practice on August 12th. The MHSAA said that these sports are deemed low risk sports.
The medium/high risk sports such as boys soccer, football, and volleyball have different guidelines.
Boys soccer and volleyball can start practice on August 12th however they can not have competition which includes tournaments and scrimmages. Football will start on August 10th but with no contact. On August 17th they can wear full pads. A decision will be made on competition would be made for these three sports will be by August 20th. Football can not scrimmage as well.
The league mentioned that this still remains a fluid situation as parts of Michigan including Oakland County is in Phase Four of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Return to School Plan. There are other parts of the state that are in Phase Five including the Upper Peninsula, Traverse City, and Alpena.
MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a radio show that “It’s a wait and see approach when it comes to the three sports and that they are watching to see how the lower risk sports do.”
Under Whitmer’s plan for Phase Four, volleyball and swimming and diving are not allowed indoors but they could start outdoors.
Cross Country can have at maximum of 70 runners allowed while 72 players will be allowed at an 18 hole golf course. Volleyball, boys soccer, tennis, and swimming and diving can have a maximum of four teams for quads. If cross country teams have more than 70 runners than they could divide them up between varsity and junior varsity squads. Invitationals for these sports will be greatly impacted by this decision.
The MHSAA said that the situation still remains fluid and that they would release updated timelines for the three sports depending on how the spread of the coronavirus is statewide. So far Michigan according to Covid Act Now is in the medium risk.
Indiana is moving forward with their fall schedules as planned while Illinois has moved football, boys soccer, and volleyball to the spring. Ohio cancelled scrimmages for specific sports.
“The representative council, reflecting on the positive impact on their athletes this summer from taking part in offseason training, feels it’s of the 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 focused on safety. Our athletic directors and coaches can provide the safest possible environment to return to sports and this phased in approach to competition will help schools continue building on progress already made. The representative council chose to make these adjustments to help ensure our athletes have a safe regular season this fall. As we continue to solidify the regular season, we can then turn our attention to building a safe postseason for our athletes” Uyl added.
The league made a decision on July 17th despite Whitmer’s recommendation to switch seasons to keep the seasons the same but allowing the possibility that fall sports could move to 2021.
Whitmer has been very supportive of the MHSAA thus far.
Uyl did mention that if the state went to Phase Three there would be no athletics but did offer hope if the state moved to Phase Five which is an attainable goal.
“The easy way out would be to postpone all activity to next spring and we are not taking the easy way out but we will make wise decisions based on medical guidance. We will make these difficult decisions quickly and appropriately. If we don’t play this fall, it won’t be because we didn’t make every effort to do so.” Uyl concluded.
We shall see what happens.
Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.