LANSING, Mich. — 4 high school sports remain sidelined in the latest order from state health officials.
Competitive cheer, wrestling, plus boys and girls basketball cannot begin full-contact practices and competitions until February 21 under the new order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Friday.
The 4 sports previously had scheduled season starts on or just after February 1, when the previous order from MDHHS was set to expire.
Michigan High School Athletic Association Executive Director Mark Uyl says the decision had no input from anyone connected to the sports.
“We found out about this decision at 9:30 a.m. like everyone else, and we will address it as quickly as possible after taking the weekend to collect more information,” Uyl said in a statement. “We did not anticipate this delay in winter contact practices and competition, and today’s announcement has created many new questions. Obviously, this is disappointing to thousands of athletes who have been training with their teams over the last week and watching teams in other states around Michigan play for the last two months.”
A new schedule for the 4 sports impacted has not been published.
The MHSAA also says that the immediate expanded capacity for stadiums and arenas will not benefit this weekend's football state championships.
“We have been planning these Finals for weeks to include immediate family, and unfortunately this isn’t a process we can adjust midstream,” Uyl said. “Distributing more tickets would put stress on those plans and Ford Field staffing, and force schools to make more hard decisions on who will be able to attend, but at the last second instead of with prior planning.”
The new restrictions permit up to 500 people to attend events in venues that can seat at least 10,000 people.