Council Approves Winter Finals Update

January 14, 2021

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The MHSAA’s Representative Council today approved a plan for adjusting schedules for the five Winter “contact” sports which may begin non-contact activities Jan. 16 but not full practice and competition until Feb. 1 per the recent update to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) epidemic plan.

The updated schedule for girls and boys basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling pushes Finals for those sports into late March or early April. The Council approved the following dates:

Girls Basketball
First non-contact practice: Jan. 16
First contact practice: Feb. 1
First contest: Feb. 4
Districts: March 22, 24, 26
Regionals: March 29, 31
Quarterfinals: April 5
Semifinals: April 7
Finals: April 9

Boys Basketball
First non-contact practice: Jan. 16
First contact practice: Feb. 1
First contest: Feb. 4
Districts: March 23, 25, 27
Regionals: March 30, April 1
Quarterfinals: April 6
Semifinals: April 8
Finals: April 10

Competitive Cheer
First non-contact practice: Jan. 16
First contact practice: Feb. 1
First contest: Feb. 8
Districts: March 15-20
Regionals: March 22-24
Finals: March 26-27

Ice Hockey
First non-contact practice: Jan. 16
First contact practice: Feb. 1
First contest: Feb. 1
Regionals: March 15-20
Quarterfinals: March 23
Semifinals: March 25-26
Finals: March 27

First non-contact practice: Jan. 16
First contact practice: Feb. 1
First contest: Feb. 8
Districts: March 15-20
Regionals: March 22-28
Team Finals: March 31
Individual Finals: April 2-3

Spring sports will continue with their traditional dates, with first practices March 15. With this updated schedule, the majority of Winter athletes will have completed their seasons by the end of March. The updated schedule does carry on through schools’ spring breaks – MHSAA research found that 63 percent of member schools have spring break the week of March 29-April 4, with the other 37 percent on break from April 5-11.

MHSAA High School Sports Participation Continues to Exceed Population Ranking Nationally

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 15, 2023

Michigan continued to rank 10th nationally in high school-aged population during the 2022-23 school year and continued to best that ranking in participation in high school sports, according to the annual national participation study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Michigan ranked ninth for overall participation nationally, based on a total of 268,070 participants who competed in sports for which the MHSAA conducts postseason tournaments. The total counts students once for each sport played, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.

Michigan also ranked ninth nationally for both girls (111,569) and boys (156,501) participation separately, while ranking ninth for high-school aged boys population and 10th for girls according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Michigan’s national rankings in seven sports improved from 2021-22, while nine sports saw lower national rankings than the previous year. The biggest jumps came in girls volleyball and boys soccer, which both moved up two spots – volleyball to fourth-highest participation nationally, and boys soccer to eighth. Girls golf (fourth), softball (seventh), girls track & field (seventh), girls swimming & diving and boys swimming & diving (both eighth) also moved up on their respective national lists.

Participation in several more MHSAA sports also continued to outpace the state’s rankings for high school-aged population.

For girls, participation in bowling (fourth), tennis (fourth), cross country (sixth), basketball (seventh), competitive cheer (ninth) and soccer (ninth) all ranked higher than their population listing of 10th nationally. Among boys sports, bowling (second), ice hockey (fourth), tennis (fifth), golf (fifth), basketball (sixth), track & field (sixth), cross country (seventh), football – all formats combined (seventh) and baseball (eighth) exceeded that ninth ranking for population.

Only 11 states sponsor alpine skiing, but Michigan ranked third on both the girls and boys lists for that sport. Wrestling, with boys and girls totals counted together, ranked eighth.

Participation nationally rose more than three percent from 2021-22 to 7,857,969 participants, the first upward movement in participation data since the all-time record of 7,980,886 in 2017-18, which was followed by the first decline in 30 years in 2018-19 and the two-year halt in data collection by the NFHS related to the pandemic. (The MHSAA continued to collect and report its data during this time.) The national total includes 4,529,789 boys and 3,328,180 girls, according to figures obtained from the 51 NFHS member state associations, which include the District of Columbia.

Eleven-player football remained the most popular boys sport, and most popular participation sport overall, with the total climbing back over one million participants. The total of 1,028,761 participants marked an increase of 54,969 and 5.6 percent from the previous year. This year’s increase was the first in the sport since 2013 and only the second increase since the all-time high of 1,112,303 in 2008-09. There also was a slight gain (34,935 to 35,301) in the number of boys in 6-, 8- and 9-player football.

Next on the boys list were outdoor track & field, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, tennis, golf, and swimming & diving, respectively.

On the girls side, outdoor track and field (up 6.5 percent) and volleyball (3.6) remained in the top two spots, while basketball reclaimed the third position. Cross country ranked fourth, followed by softball, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming & diving and competitive spirit, respectively.

Texas remained atop the list of state participation with 827,446, but California closed the gap in second adding 25,000 participants to climb to 787,697. New York is third with 356,803, followed by Illinois (335,801), Ohio (323,117), Pennsylvania (316,587), Florida (297,389), New Jersey (272,159), Michigan (268,070) and Minnesota (219,094), which climbed into the top 10 past Massachusetts.

The participation survey has been compiled in its current form by the NFHS since 1971.