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High school sports to pause for three weeks, will finish seasons when cleared to play

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Posted at 6:44 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 06:44:16-05

There are only 64 teams left in the football playoffs and they are all relieved to know that while high school sports are on pause for at least the next three weeks, this is not a cancellation, and they will get the chance to play on.

The MHSAA is suspending the completion of football, girls swimming and diving, and volleyball as they were just weeks away from finishing without interruption.

"Our goals and our plans have not changed," MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said.

"All of us can see the data, we can see the numbers, the increase we've seen over the past month-plus, I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that some new guidance and new regulations s were coming," Uyl added.

A major announcement made today is that the MHSAA has every intention of seeing these seasons to completion. Some athletes worried that they'd be dealt a similar blow to March, where the suspension turned to cancellation, but Uly doesn't expect that to happen here.

"Our bottom line here is we want to give an experience to kids and if that means that we're able to resume in December, and we have to complete those three tournaments with zero spectators but that means those kids get to get to the finish line of their season, so be it," Uyl said.

Coaches with teams still with a chance for a championship are already moving towards what's next, they've been here before, so a shift back to how they learned isn't as difficult as it was the first time around.

"We've done it before, we did it in the summer, the kids know how to stay engaged with workouts, they know how to zoom, how to get into breakout rooms, so it's something that we highly encourage them to do and in three weeks we'll see where we're at," West Bloomfield head football coach Ron Bellamy said.

Uyl added that Ford Field is still where the state championship games for football will be played.

It's a fluid situation, but they're armed with more information than they had the first go around, and the MHSAA is confident that sports will return at some point in the near future if we as a state can get the coronavirus under control.