The Michigan High School Athletic Association will conduct its 44th annual Update Meeting series in person in the coming weeks – after the 2020 series was provided online only because of COVID-19 – and this year’s schedule will again offer in-service programming for athletic directors at six of the seven locations.
The Update series is annually attended by more than 800 school administrators. During the meetings, information about current MHSAA activities is disseminated, issues affecting interscholastic athletics are discussed and attendees are surveyed on various topics.
Six luncheon meetings are scheduled in the Lower Peninsula, and a morning meeting is scheduled for Marquette in the Upper Peninsula. MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl will address high school superintendents, principals, athletic directors and school board members on a variety of topics at these meetings. Update Meetings also provide school administrators an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any recent changes in the Association's rules and regulations.
This also will be the 19th year of Athletic Director In-Service programs conducted during morning-long sessions prior to most of the Update Meetings. These workshops are designed to help prepare those administrators for the rigors of their jobs, and with the Update Meetings offer those in attendance an opportunity to meet with administrators from neighboring school districts with whom they normally are not able to have day-to-day contact.
The meeting in Lansing on Oct. 6 also will serve as the Annual Business Meeting for the MHSAA. The registration form for Athletic Director In-Service and Update Meetings is available on the MHSAA Website.
Here is a schedule of the 2021 Update Meetings:
• Sept. 15 – Four Points by Sheraton, Kalamazoo (Noon – Preceded by AD In-Service at 8:30 a.m.)
• Sept. 20 – Ukrainian Cultural Center, Warren (Noon – Preceded by AD In-Service at 8:30 a.m.)
• Sept. 22 – Zehnder's Restaurant, Frankenmuth (Noon – Preceded by AD In-Service at 8:30 a.m.)
• Sept. 27 – English Hills Country Club, Comstock Park (Noon – Preceded by AD In-Service at 8:30 a.m.)
• Oct. 4 – Otsego Club & Resort, Gaylord (Noon – Preceded by AD In-Service at 8:30 a.m.)
• Oct. 6 – Causeway Bay, Lansing (Noon – Preceded by AD In-Service at 8:30 a.m.)
• Oct. 22 – Northern Michigan University Superior Dome, Marquette (10 a.m.)
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 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.
The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association began examining several topics during its Fall Meeting, Dec. 1 in East Lansing – including start and end dates of the winter calendar, possible new transfer rule exceptions and emerging sports – that will shape its work during the winter and spring meetings of this 2023-24 school year.
Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in March and May. The Council did take three actions this time as part of larger conversations expected to continue over the next six months.
The Council joined staff discussion on the start and end dates of winter seasons and the possibility of moving up both, which was among topics surveyed as part of the Update Meeting poll completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state this fall. Staff will prepare a recommendation for Council to review at a future meeting regarding the 2025-26 school year and beyond.
MHSAA staff also provided a variety of transfer rule issues encountered over the last year, and Council discussed the possibility of adding transfer rule exceptions related to military transfer families, fulltime school employee transfers and students returning from a sports academy or prep school and seeking immediate eligibility. The Council did adopt a change for multi-high school districts (with at least three high schools) that include both boundary and non-boundary schools that more clearly defined where students at those schools have immediate eligibility.
The Council also discussed possible new and emerging sports, including proposals for MHSAA sponsorship received by the water polo and field hockey governing bodies and an anticipated proposal to add boys volleyball to the MHSAA Tournament lineup.
Several more conversations regarded MHSAA postseasons:
- The Council reviewed the work of the Football Task Force and considered a staff recommendation to have the Football Committee in January discuss possibly capping enrollment of Division 8 11-player schools at 250 students to incentivize schools within that group to play 11-player instead of switching to 8-player.
- MHSAA staff have identified four areas requiring financial increases – MHSAA Tournament officials fees, host schools compensations, manager honorariums and team reimbursements for Finals participants – and the Council discussed the importance of including these when the MHSAA Audit & Finance Committee meets in February to begin the 2024-25 budgetary process.
- The Council also discussed recommendations from the MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee addressing possible requirements of emergency action plans and AEDs at MHSAA Tournament sites.
The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Wyoming Godfrey-Lee Schools superintendent Arnetta Thompson and Freeland Middle School principal Jennifer Thunberg to two-year terms to the 19-person Council, the first terms for both. The Council also reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson as its vice president, and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer.
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.