By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director
It’s another big weekend of live MHSAA Finals video on the MHSAA.tv website with coverage of Girls Gymnastics, Ice Hockey and Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals beginning Thursday.
The championship coverage will be complimented by Student Broadcast Program on-demand productions of Boys Basketball Districts and Girls Basketball Regionals. Check the MHSAA.tv website for daily schedule updates.
Live streaming this week begins at 5 p.m. Thursday with the first of two Division 2 Semifinal games in the Ice Hockey Tournament. Division 3 and 1 Semifinals follow on Friday with all Finals on Saturday.
Here’s the complete Ice Hockey coverage schedule:
Thursday – Division 2 Semifinals
Escanaba/Traverse City Central Quarterfinal winner v. Livonia Stevenson/Novi winner – 5 p.m.
Romeo/Grosse Pointe South Quarterfinal winner v. Hartland/Birmingham Brother Rice winner – 7:30 p.m.
Friday – Division 3 Semifinals
Wyandotte Roosevelt/Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood Quarterfinal winner v. Riverview/Okemos winner – 11 a.m.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central/Flint Powers Catholic Quarterfinal winner v. Houghton/Sault Ste. Marie winner – 1:30 p.m.
Friday – Division 1 Semifinals
Salem/Detroit U-D Jesuit Quarterfinal winner v. Troy/Detroit Catholic Central winner – 5 p.m.
Jackson/Bay City Central Quarterfinal winner v. Traverse City West/Grandville winner – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday – Finals
10 a.m. – Division 2
2 p.m. – Division 3
6 p.m. – Division 1
Girls Gymnastics coverage begins at 2 p.m. Friday with Team Finals competition at Rockford High School and will be followed Saturday with the Individual Finals beginning at noon. There will be a dedicated camera on each apparatus (Bars, Balance Beam, Floor Exercise, Vault), with an announcer providing information on each channel regarding who is competing in each event at a given time.
Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming and Diving coverage begins at noon Saturday at three locations, with the consolation and championship heats in each swimming event, plus the final round of the diving.
The continued Gymnastics, Hockey and Swimming coverage is part of six straight weekends of live MHSAA Championship coverage on MHSAA.tv, and online viewers can catch every weekend of action for one low cost of $14.95.
A Month Pass on MHSAA.tv for $14.95 will give a viewer access to events over a 30-day period from the time it is purchased. Over the next two weekends of live winter championship coverage, the following events will be featured:
- Girls Basketball Semifinals – March 19-20
- Boys Basketball Semifinals – March 26-27
A Day Pass is available for $9.95. All events will be available for free on-demand viewing by Wednesday the week following their initial live airing.
The MHSAA Championship Radio Network begins three straight weekends of winter tournament coverage this weekend at the Ice Hockey Semifinals and Finals. The audio stream is available at MHSAANetwork.com. Over the following two weekends, the MHSAA Championship Radio Network also will carry the Semifinals and Finals of the Girls and Boys Basketball Tournaments for distribution on an over-the-air network of radio stations and on the Internet.
Here’s the schedule of School Broadcast Program members planning to cover games in the coming week, which will be available at MHSAA.tv shortly after each game’s conclusion (All games are Video on Demand – Check daily for updates):
Monday, March 9
Boys Basketball District Quarterfinal – Lansing Sexton at Haslett, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Quarterfinal – Midland Bullock Creek vs. Gladwin at Pinconning, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Quarterfinal – Wyoming Lee at Comstock Park, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Quarterfinal – Lowell at Cedar Springs, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Quarterfinal – Fowlerville vs. Lansing Catholic at Haslett, 7:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Quarterfinal – Standish-Sterling vs. Essexville Garber at Pinconning, 7:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 11
Boys Basketball District Semifinal – Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic at Comstock Park, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Semifinal – Midland Bullock Creek/Gladwin winner vs. Bay City John Glenn at Pinconning, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Semifinal – Lansing Catholic/Fowlerville winner vs. Williamston at Haslett, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Semifinal – Haslett/Lansing Sexton winner vs. Perry at Haslett, 7:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Semifinal – Standish-Sterling/Essexville Garber winner at Pinconning, 7:45 p.m.
Boys Basketball District Semifinal – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern vs. Wyoming Lee/Comstock Park winner at Comstock Park, 8 p.m.
Friday, March 13
Boys Basketball District Final at Comstock Park, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball District final at Pinconning, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball District final at Haslett, 7 p.m.
To say that American female athletes dominated the recent Olympics in Tokyo would be an understatement.
Among the 66 medals earned by American female Olympians – most by any country in the history of the Games – were gold-medal performances by the U.S. basketball, volleyball, water polo and beach volleyball teams. Eighteen medals were earned by the U.S. women swimmers, female track and field athletes claimed 15 medals, and the U.S. women’s softball and soccer teams won silver and bronze medals, respectively.
In the past 30 years of the Olympic Games, the United States has dominated the women’s team sports of basketball (nine golds), soccer (four golds, one silver, one bronze) and softball (three golds, two silvers) — not to mention the untold number of medals in track and field. And this past summer, the U.S. women’s volleyball team claimed its first gold medal.
These performances by some of our nation’s most skilled female athletes never would have been possible without the passage of Title IX and the offerings of these sports through our nation’s schools. With the chance to play afforded by the landmark Title IX legislation in 1972, girls participation in several high school sports skyrocketed in the years that followed.
When the NFHS conducted its first participation survey in 1971, basketball and outdoor track and field were the primary girls sports, comprising about two-thirds of the 294,000 total. However, with the opportunity to play additional sports, girls flocked to volleyball and softball first, along with cross country and eventually soccer.
Soccer, in fact, has had the most remarkable growth. In 1971, only 700 girls were playing high school soccer. Twenty-five years later, that number had climbed to almost 210,000; and as the 50th anniversary of Title IX approaches, there are now almost 400,000 girls playing high school soccer – a staggering 56,200 percentage increase in 50 years. Soccer now ranks fourth in popularity among girls high school sports – all because of that opportunity in 1972.
There are many other success stories, however. The pre-Title IX survey in 1971 indicated that 1,719 girls were participating in cross country. With increases every year until 2015, today, there are 219,345 girls competing in high school programs and the sport ranks sixth in popularity.
Although participation numbers have leveled a bit the past 10 years, fast-pitch softball is another sport that flourished after the passage of Title IX. With fewer than 10,000 participants in 1971, the numbers quickly rose to 220,000 by 1985 and 343,000 by 2000, and softball is currently fifth among girls sports with 362,038 participants.
Since track and field and basketball were the primary sports in the early days of girls sports programs, increases in those sports have not been as dramatic; however, they remain the first and third most-popular sports, respectively, today. Volleyball, however, much like soccer, continues its upward climb.
Without a doubt, volleyball has seen the steadiest increases among girls high school sports the past 50 years. After starting with 17,952 participants in 1971, the numbers jumped to 300,810 by 1990 and 409,332 by 2010 and 452,808 by 2018. During its climb, volleyball surpassed basketball as the No. 2 girls sport.
And among the top six girls sports from 2010 to 2018 (numbers are not available the past two years due to the pandemic), volleyball has gained the most participants (43,476), followed by soccer (32,549). And all of this has occurred thanks to legislation passed in 1972 that was not fundamentally meant to address opportunities for girls to participate in high school sports.
The NFHS is leading a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which officially occurs on June 23, 2022. “Title IX at 50 – Celebrating and Growing Opportunities” is highlighting the law’s impact by celebrating the inspirational individuals and landmark moments in the history of Title IX, and continuing to grow the educational and competitive opportunities for the future.
More information, including a Title IX Timeline, Title IX Milestones, The History and Importance of Title IX, Title IX Fact Sheet, Title IX Frequently Asked Questions and several Title IX videos, can be accessed on the NFHS Website.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is beginning her fourth year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.