1998-99 Athletic Season Begins In August;
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 28, 1998
Contact: John Johnson or Mike Clifford
Rules Changes Announced In Basketball, Football & Soccer
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- July 28 - The excitement
of another season of fall sports will soon begin for nearly a
quarter of a million young student-athletes, as the 1998-99 athletic
season opens with eight sports sponsored by member schools of
the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Practices for all fall sports can begin on August 10, except
for a small number of football teams, which will begin on August
5. Nine schools, seven in the Upper Peninsula, were given permission
by the MHSAA Executive Committee to begin competition a week
earlier to help them secure a full schedule of games. All football
schools conduct three required conditioning days of practice
before beginning contact. Conditioning sessions may not include
any pads. Houghton, Ironwood, Kingsford, Menominee, Stambaugh
West Iron County and Stephenson will begin their grid seasons
on August 28; while Powers North Central, Indian River Inland
Lakes and Maple City Glen Lake open on August 29, with the latter
two schools facing each other. All other football schools can
begin varsity play on either September 3 or 4.
The remaining fall sports begin their practice schedules on August
10, and all but three sports can start competition that day.
The first game date for boys soccer is August 21, girls swimming
and diving may open activity on August 22, and girls basketball
begins on August 24.
Two safety issues are addressed under National Federation of
State High School Associations rules changes in football. The
first prohibits the use of eye shields with less than 100 percent
light transmission; the second prohibits defensive players from
using their hands to slap a blocker's head. Additionally, the
MHSAA Representative Council took action in May which requires
that all varsity football games involving Michigan teams ending
in a tie score after regulation play be decided by the MHSAA-approved
tie-breaking procedure. The Council also revised the mercy rule
in football so that a running clock will be used at all levels,
for regular-season and playoff games, whenever a 35-point differential
in the score is reached after the first half of play. The clock
will run continuously except during called timeouts; the break
between the third and fourth quarters and following a score;
during penalty enforcement; and for safety reasons, such as injuries.
Normal timing procedures resume if the point differential is
reduced to less than 35 points.
Notable National Federation rules changes in basketball include
a change in substitutions during multiple free throw situations,
and how a team calls a time out. During multiple free-throw
attempt situations, substitutions may only be made before the
final attempt of the sequence and after the final attempt has
been converted. With regards to calling time outs, a player
or the head coach may now orally or visually request a time out.
The MHSAA Representative Council voted in May to institute a
mercy rule in basketball, which will be in effect at all levels
for regular season and tournament play. When a differential
of 40 or more points is reached after the first half, a running
clock shall be used, with the condition that the running clock
shall revert to regular time schemes when the differential is
reduced to 30 or fewer points. In all cases, the clock shall
stop for called timeouts and breaks between quarters.
In soccer, National Federation rule changes include: that a
goal may be scored from a kickoff or goal kick; that a goalie
may no longer touch the ball after receiving it directly from
a teammate on a throw-in; an allowance for lateral movement by
a goalkeeper during a penalty kick; and an adoption for a provision
that the placement of the ball on the line for corner kicks is
The 1998 fall campaign culminates with championships beginning
with the Upper Peninsula finals in girls tennis on October 2
and wraps up with the girls basketball finals on December 5.
Here is a complete list of fall championship dates:
Girls Basketball: Districts -- Nov. 16-21
Regionals -- Nov. 23-25
Finals -- Dec. 1, 3-5
· Cross Country: U.P. Finals -- Oct.
L.P. Regionals -- Oct. 31
L.P. Finals -- Nov. 7
· Football: Pre-Regionals -- Nov.
6 or 7
Regionals -- Nov. 13 or 14
Semifinals -- Nov. 21
Finals -- Nov. 27-28
· L.P. Boys Golf: Regionals -- Oct. 9 or 10
Finals -- Oct. 16-17
· Boys Soccer: Districts -- Oct. 19-24
Regionals -- Oct. 26-31
Semifinals -- Nov. 4
Finals -- Nov. 7
· L.P. Girls Diving Quals -- Nov. 17
Swimming/Diving Finals -- Nov. 20-21
· Girls Tennis: U.P. Finals -- Oct.
L.P. Regionals -- Oct. 9-10
L.P. Finals --Oct. 16-17