MHSAA Representative Council Makes Adaptive Track Events Permanent at Winter Meeting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 2, 2024

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. 

MHSAA Accepting Student Advisory Council Applications for Class of 2026

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 11, 2024

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is seeking student-athletes to become members of its Student Advisory Council beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

Four boys and four girls from the Class of 2026 will be selected to two-year terms, and will meet on matters related to maintaining and promoting a proper perspective and sensible scope for high school sports in Michigan. Eight members from the Class of 2025 already are serving on the Council, while eight members from the Class of 2024 are leaving the Council this spring.

To be eligible for the committee, candidates must be a member of the Class of 2026, complete the official application including answering the three short-answer questions, submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be available for all scheduled meetings.

In addition, candidates should show a history of leadership on athletic teams as well as with other extracurricular activities, community service projects, or in the workplace; and show an understanding of the role of school sports and have ideas for promoting a proper perspective for educational athletics.

Applications are due to the MHSAA by 4:30 p.m. on April 22. Applications can be downloaded from the Student Advisory Council page of the MHSAA Website and must be returned via e-mail, fax or any mail delivery service

The Student Advisory Council meets six times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to assisting in the promotion of the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses issues dealing with the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition) and the sensible scope of athletic programs. A fifth S – student leadership – is also a common topic. Members contribute to the planning of Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics and other student leadership events, and assist with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events.

Newly-chosen members will join the following from the Class of 2025: Cale Bell, Sault Ste. Marie; Drew Cady, Oxford; Macy Jenkins, Milford; Isaiah Kabban, Harbor Beach; Ella Knudsen, Leland; Kaylee Kranz, Clinton; Joey Spada, Kalamazoo Central; and Aynalem Zoet, Grandville Calvin Christian.

The eight new members of the Student Advisory Council will be notified by May 3. The 2024-25 meetings are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25, Oct. 6, Dec. 8, Feb. 16 and April 27, in addition to the leadership camp June 18-19 and with a May 2025 meeting still to be scheduled.  Meetings will take place at the MHSAA Office in East Lansing, For additional information, contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA at (517) 332-5046 or [email protected].