By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association today approved an adjusted regular-season calendar for indoor Winter sports, which under current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) orders may restart their seasons Saturday, Jan. 16.
All Winter sports activity had been paused by MDHHS on Nov. 18 to decrease spread of COVID-19. Girls and boys alpine skiing, with all activity taking place outdoors, was allowed by MDHHS to resume its season Monday (Dec. 21) and remains underway. If the MDHHS pause ends, indoor practices may begin again Jan. 16, with first competitions Jan. 22 for basketball, bowling, ice hockey and swimming & diving; and Jan. 25 for competitive cheer, gymnastics and wrestling.
The Council also approved one-year changes to competition limits in ice hockey and wrestling. In hockey, teams may play two games on one non-school day on two dates this season – with four games total during those two weeks when this opportunity is utilized. Wrestling teams are allowed two dates of competition per week this season, with competition limited to four teams at a site (and three matches per student per day of competition).
The Council also approved changes to the Winter tournament schedule pushing championships in most sports back to allow for regular seasons to be extended due to the late start. Following are the updated dates:
Boys and Girls Basketball
Girls Districts - March 8, 10 and 12; Boys Districts - March 9, 11 and 13
Girls Regionals - March 16 and 18; Boys Regionals - March 17 and 19
Girls QF, Semifinals and Finals - March 22 (QF), March 24 (Semifinals- 2 Sites) and March 26 (Finals)
Boys QF, Semifinals and Finals - March 23 (QF), March 25 (Semifinals- 2 Sites) and March 27 (Finals)
Regionals - March 19-20
Finals - March 26-27
Districts - March 5-6
Regionals - March 13
Finals - March 19-20
Regionals - March 20
Finals - March 26-27
Regionals - March 15-20
Finals - March 25-27
Girls & Boys Swimming & Diving
Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Swim & Dive Finals - Feb. 27
Lower Peninsula Boys Dive Regionals - March 18
Lower Peninsula Boys Finals - March 26-27
District Week - March 1
Regional Week - March 8
Team Finals - March 19-20
Individual Finals - March 26-27
Currently, the start dates of Spring sports are not affected. If current orders further delay activity beyond Jan. 16, the MHSAA staff and Representative Council will devise updated plans that address both Winter and Spring sports. If current orders are amended to allow activity to begin earlier, the first days of practice and competition will be moved up accordingly.
“The Council has been working to give schools as much local flexibility as possible while putting together their winter seasons schedules,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This flexible planning has been required of us all since June, and we will continue to advocate for kids in all seasons with our continued goal of three seasons played to completion.”
Elections were completed recently to fill positions on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s legislative body, its Representative Council, with six members receiving re-election, another rejoining the Council after previously serving and two being selected for the first time – one of those two as part of a special election.
Five of the six re-elected members ran unopposed. Midland athletic director Eric Albright was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula, Portage Northern athletic director Chris Riker was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the southwestern section of the Lower Peninsula, and Brighton athletic director John Thompson was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula.
Calumet faculty member and past athletic director Sean Jacques was re-elected to continue representing the Class C and D schools in the Upper Peninsula. Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, was re-elected to continue representing private and parochial schools. Grand Haven superintendent Scott C. Grimes was re-elected for a statewide at-large position from an original pool of four candidates.
Bangor athletic director Fredrick J. Smith will be rejoining the Council after previously serving from 2005-17 while athletic director at Comstock, Buchanan and Benton Harbor. He was elected to represent junior high and middle schools. Harbor Springs athletic director Anna Rigby will join the Council for the first time and was elected to represent Class C and D schools in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula. All eight were elected to serve two-year terms.
Camden-Frontier superintendent Chris Adams also will be joining the Council for the first time. He was selected as part of a special election to serve a one-year term representing Class C and D schools in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula. He will finish the term of former Ottawa Lake Whiteford athletic director and coach Jason Mensing, who now serves at Class A Westland John Glenn.
The Representative Council is the 19-member 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 Council meets three times annually, and these elections take effect with the Fall 2022 meeting. Five members of the Council convene monthly during the school year to form the MHSAA’s Executive Committee, which reviews appeals of Handbook regulations by member schools.
Additional elections took place to select representatives to the Upper Peninsula Athletic Committee. Lake Linden-Hubbell athletic director and varsity girls basketball coach Jack Kumpula was elected to represent Class D schools, and West Iron County principal, athletic director and varsity football coach Mike Berutti was elected to represent athletic coaches. Powers North Central principal David Florenski was selected in a special election to serve a one-year term representing Class D schools.
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 1.3 million spectators each year.