By John Johnson
MHSAA communications director
Five weekends of coverage of MHSAA Winter Championships will be featured beginning next week on the MHSAA.tv website.
The schedule begins Feb. 20-21 in Marquette with live video streaming from the Upper Peninsula Swimming and Diving Championships, and concludes on March 28 with live coverage of postgame awards and press conferences plus on-court halftime activities at the Boys Basketball Finals.
Here’s the complete schedule:
- Feb. 20-21 – Upper Peninsula Swimming & Diving Finals - Marquette
- Feb. 27-28 – Team Dual Wrestling Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals – Battle Creek
- March 5-7 – Individual Wrestling Finals – Auburn Hills
- March 6-7 – Girls Competitive Cheer Finals – Grand Rapids
- March 12-14 – Ice Hockey Semifinals and Finals – Plymouth
- March 13-14 – Girls Gymnastics Finals – Rockford
- March 14 – Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals – Holland, Rochester, Ypsilanti
- March 19-20 – Girls Basketball Semifinals and Postgame Press Conferences – East Lansing
- March 20 – Postgame Awards and Press Conferences; Halftime Shooter’s Challenges; Women In Sports Leadership Award and Miss Basketball Award presentations at Girls Basketball Finals – East Lansing
- March 26-27 – Boys Basketball Semifinals and Postgame Press Conferences – East Lansing
- March 28 – Postgame Awards and Press Conferences; Halftime Shooter’s Challenges; Scholar-Athlete Award, Charles E. Forsythe Award and Mr. Basketball Award presentations at Boys Basketball Finals – East Lansing
All game coverage is live on MHSAA.tv on a subscription basis. All events become available for free On-Demand viewing 72 hours after the conclusion of each game. All of the awards, press conferences and on-court presentations at the Basketball Finals will be live and available at no charge. Video subscriptions run $9.95 for a Day Pass and $14.95 for a Month Pass. The purchase of a Month Pass during the Team Wrestling Finals, for example, would allow viewing through the Boys Basketball Semifinals.
It’s also another busy week for School Broadcast Program members, which will have cameras at more than 40 sporting events.
The School Broadcast Program gives members an opportunity to showcase excellence in their schools by creating video programming of athletic and non-athletic events, with students gaining skills in announcing, camera operation, directing/producing and graphics. The program also gives schools the opportunity to raise money through advertising and viewing subscriptions.
Here’s the schedule of School Broadcast Program members planning to cover varsity competition over the next week for broadcast at MHSAA.tv. The following events will have live streaming video unless otherwise indicated:
Wednesday, February 11
Boys Basketball – Central Lake at Onaway, 7 p.m.
Wrestling – Division 2 District Semifinal, Wayland vs. Plainwell, 6 p.m.
Wrestling – Division 2 District Final, Wayland/Plainwell vs. Byron Center, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 12
Girls Basketball – Atlanta at AuGres-Sims, 6 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Lincoln Alcona at Hillman, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Dryden at Montrose, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Whittemore-Prescott at Rogers City, 7 p.m. (VOD)
Friday, February 13
Ice Hockey – Green Bay (WI) Notre Dame vs. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood @ MIHL Showcase, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Belding at Comstock Park, 6 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Flint Southwestern at Davison, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Holt at East Lansing, 6 p.m. (VOD)
Boys Basketball – DeWitt at Haslett, 6 p.m. (HD)
Boys Basketball – Engadine at Newberry, 6 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Three Rivers at Plainwell, 6 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Edwardsburg at Dowagiac, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Rogers City at Posen, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Three Rivers at Plainwell, 7:15 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Belding at Comstock Park, 7:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Flint Southwestern at Davison, 7:30 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Holt at East Lansing, 7:30 p.m. (VOD)
Girls Basketball – DeWitt at Haslett, 7:30 p.m. (HD)
Saturday, February 14
Ice Hockey – Rochester vs. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood @ MIHL Showcase, 4:40 p.m.
Tuesday, February 17
Boys Basketball – L’Anse at Calumet, 7 p.m.
Ice Hockey – Houghton at Calumet, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball – Grand Rapids Covenant Christian at Comstock Park, 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Ann Arbor Huron at Haslett, 7 p.m. (HD)
Boys Basketball – Mio at Rogers City, 7 p.m. (VOD)
Boys Basketball – Posen at AuGres-Sims, 7:15 p.m.
Girls Basketball – Coloma at Plainwell, 7:15 p.m.
Live stats of select basketball games also are available on MHSAA.tv. Check out the MHSAA.tv website on game night to see which schools are streaming live stats, or stop by to view stats following games on an On-Demand basis. A Day Pass to view live stats is $1.95.
All sporting events – live or delayed – are available on MHSAA.tv on a subscription basis for their first 72 hours online. A portion of each subscription is returned to the school originating the broadcast. Video subscriptions run $9.95 for a Day Pass and $14.95 for a Month Pass. Some schools also are offering Annual Passes at a discounted rate. All sporting events become available for free On-Demand viewing three days after they have been posted.
To view all of the recent School Broadcast Program productions, go to MHSAA.tv, click On-Demand on the nav bar of the left side of the page, and on the Filters tab at the top of next page, click on All States and then select Michigan.
Also available below is an SBP highlights package from the past week, including a 53-50 victory by Plainwell over Mattawan in a boys basketball contest, plus a 53-36 win for Calumet vs. Hancock in girls basketball.
Schools interested in becoming a part of the School Broadcast Program should contact John Johnson at the MHSAA Office.
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.