April 2, 2024

Contact: Geoff Kimmerly          
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich. – March 27 – The permanent addition of adaptive track & field events for Regional and Finals competitions highlighted actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its Winter Meeting, March 22 in East Lansing.

For the past two years (2022 and 2023 tournaments), the MHSAA has provided a pilot program for wheelchair track & field athletes during its postseason meets with adaptive 100, 200 and 400-meter races and shot put. The proposal to make these events permanent for Regionals and Finals was brought to the Council by the MHSAA Track & Field Committee.

The Council also approved a Softball Committee recommendation permitting schools to play District Semifinal and Final games on either a Thursday or Friday (instead of Saturday) if all participating teams agree to the schedule change. If any school in the bracket does not approve the change, the default District Tournament day will remain Saturday. This opportunity will take effect with this spring’s 2024 MHSAA Softball Tournament.

Additionally, the Council approved MHSAA Tournament officials fees for the next four school years beginning with 2024-25 and including increases in all sports for which the MHSAA sponsors postseason competition.

The Winter Meeting also frequently serves as an opportunity for the Council to discuss items expected to come up for action at its final meeting of the school year, scheduled for May 5-6, and discussion of three topics continued after previously being discussed during the Council’s Fall Meeting in December.

The Council discussed a Football Committee recommendation that would cap enrollment of 11-player schools participating in Division 8 at 250 students. The proposal was made in order to protect those smallest 11-player schools from playing much larger opponents during the MHSAA Playoffs as the enrollment dividing line between Division 7 and 8 has continued to trend upward as more small schools have switched to the 8-player format. While the Council voted to not approve this proposal to take effect with the 2024-25 school year, the Council did vote to discuss the proposal again at its May meeting with possible implementation for 2025-26 if approved. 

The Council also continued its past conversation on the start and end dates of winter seasons and the possibilities of moving up both or keeping the same current start date and moving up the end by one week. The Council reviewed results of a recent survey of MHSAA membership on the topic.

Also among ongoing topics of discussion were possible new and emerging sports, including girls field hockey, boys volleyball, water polo and indoor track & field for girls and boys, and girls flag football.

The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.