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MHSAA: Winter contact sports to begin full activity with precautions

Competition dates listed
Game on: Should Michigan high schools add esports?
Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 18:35:07-05

(WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that high school contact sports could officially begin Feb. 8. The Michigan High School Athletic Association says some precautions will still be in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Competitions for winter contact sports in girls and boys basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling will begin as early as next week. Basketball and hockey will play Feb. 8, while cheer and wrestling will compete starting Feb. 12, a release states.

The four winter sports have been able to practice since Jan. 16, but only with non-contact activities.

Precautions for the four winter sports include "some level of masking," MHSAA said, and/or rapid testing. The testing will be done under the coordination of individual schools and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Important dates and guidelines for each sport are listed below.

Girls Basketball
Masking/testing: All participants must wear face coverings at all times – during all practices and non-game activities, and during games. COVID testing can be put in place for extra protection in addition to masking up. Schools can go here for more information on getting free antigen tests for eligible sports.
Competition limit: Teams may play up to three games per week, Monday through Sunday.
First contest: Feb. 8
Districts: March 22, 24, 26
Regionals: March 29, 31
Quarterfinals: April 5
Semifinals: April 7
Finals: April 9

Boys Basketball
Masking/testing: All participants must wear face coverings at all times – during all practices and non-game activities, and during games. COVID testing can be put in place for extra protection in addition to masking up. Schools can go here for more information on getting free antigen tests for eligible sports.
Competition limit: Teams may play up to three games per week, Monday through Sunday.
First contest: Feb. 8
Districts: March 23, 25, 27
Regionals: March 30, April 1
Quarterfinals: April 6
Semifinals: April 8
Finals: April 10

Competitive Cheer
Masking/testing: Teams may compete without testing or face coverings, but must wear masks at all times outside of active competition or stunting/tumbling practice.
Competition limit: Teams may participate in 12 days of competition, not counting MHSAA Tournament events.
First contest: Feb. 12
Districts: March 15-20
Regionals: March 22-24
Finals: March 26-27

Ice Hockey
Masking/testing: All participants must wear face coverings at all times – during all practices and non-game activities, and during games. COVID testing can be put in place for extra protection in addition to masking up. Schools can go here for more information on getting free antigen tests for eligible sports.
Competition limit: Teams may play up to three games per week, Monday through Sunday. Teams also may play two games on one non-school day twice; during those two weeks, teams are allowed up to four games Monday through Sunday.
First contest: Feb. 8
Regionals: March 15-20
Quarterfinals: March 23
Semifinals: March 25-26
Finals: March 27

Wrestling
Masking/testing: Testing is required for wrestling, but competitors will not be required to wear face coverings.
Competition limit: Teams may compete two days per week, Monday through Sunday, with no more than four teams at a site (with each individual competing in up to three matches per day.)
First contest: Feb. 12
Districts: March 15-20
Regionals: March 22-28
Team Finals: March 30
Individual Finals: April 2-3

For more information, visit the MHSAA website here.

Update:

MHSAA provided more clarity on the interim guidelines as it relates to all high school, junior high and middle school winter contact sports. Read below:

1. Spectators: The current MDHHS epidemic order limits spectators in three ways. In facilities with fixed seating of more than 10,000, the maximum number of spectators is 500. In facilities with fixed seating of less than 10,000, the maximum number of spectators is 250. If a facility has no fixed seating such as an ice rink with no bleachers, the maximum number of spectators is 100. Schools may limit spectators further (two-per-participant as suggested by MDHHS) but the order defines the maximum number of spectators based on facility size and type of 500, 250 and 100 individuals. Sideline cheerleaders, dance team members and pompon squads would be considered participants if a school allows. If a non-athletic support organization such as a pep band is allowed in a facility, all those individuals must be counted in the total number of spectators. Remember that bowling and swimming & diving spectator limits are 25% of the bowling center or bather limit capacities.

2. Concessions: The current MDHHS order states that consumption of food or beverages is permitted only where patrons are seated and those groups of patrons are separated by at least six feet. The order goes on to state that no more than six patrons may be seated at a table and those groups of patrons cannot intermingle. Based on this language from the order, a concession stand may be open but must comply with these detailed requirements.

3. Basketball: All participants must wear masks at all times. Even if an individual receives a negative rapid or PCR test, a mask must still be worn during competition. If a student has a disability or medical situation that would not permit a mask to be worn, the student would need to obtain documentation of such disability or medical situation from a medical provider (MD, DO, PA, NP) AND complete a negative COVID test within 24 hours (rapid antigen test) or 72 hours (PCR test) for each day of competition and practice. Both items must be documented and paper copies shall be made available to all officials and opponents prior to each contest.

4. Competitive Cheer: Competitive cheer is considered a non-contact sport under the current epidemic order and modifications have been made by the MHSAA to rules in eliminating the most high-risk maneuvers for 2020-21. Schools and coaches must follow the modifications provided in the MHSAA Return-to-Play document. Note that there have been no reported issues by MHSAA member cheer schools and Michigan college programs surveyed of face masks being a hindrance during fall and winter sessions. All participants must wear masks at all times in all competition rounds and practice sessions. Even if an individual receives a negative rapid test, a mask must still be worn during competition. If a student has a disability or medical situation that would not permit a mask to be worn, the student would need to obtain documentation of such disability or medical situation from a medical provider (MD, DO, PA, NP) AND complete a negative COVID test within 24 hours (rapid antigen test) or 72 hours (PCR test) for each day of competition and practice. Both items must be documented and paper copies shall be made available to all officials and opponents prior to each contest.

5. Ice Hockey: All participants must wear masks at all times. Even if an individual receives a negative rapid or PCR test, a mask must still be worn during competition. If a student has a disability or medical situation that would not permit a mask to be worn, the student would need to obtain documentation of such disability or medical situation from a medical provider (MD, DO, PA, NP) AND complete a negative COVID test within 24 hours (rapid antigen test) or 72 hours (PCR test) for each day of competition and practice. Both items must be documented and paper copies shall be made available to all officials and opponents prior to each contest.

6. Wrestling: All participants must have a negative rapid antigen test on either the day before (done in conjunction with home weigh-in) or day of a meet or a negative PCR test within 72 hours of competition. All tested wrestlers would be able to compete without wearing a mask during the match; masks would be required of all individuals at all other times during meets and practices. Schools will be able to order rapid tests from MDHHS tomorrow, Feb. 9, as an “order link” will be live at this page tomorrow: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_105410---,00.html [michigan.gov].

7. Officials: MHSAA officials in all winter sports are required to wear masks at all times, unless a medical exception applies. Under the current MDHHS order, officials must have documentation from a medical provider (MD, DO, PA, NP) and provide that to the host school administrator upon arrival. Local school districts may choose to only hire game officials who wear masks at all times. If this is the cas

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