With Testing Priority, High School Sports Back on Pause Temporarily
Several Michigan high school teams in Football, Volleyball and Girls Swimming and Diving were back to work on preparing for the remainder of their playoff seasons Monday. After practices Tuesday, another pause came to sports.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday, December 22nd, following practices that afternoon that they are waiting for "more direction" from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the pilot program that will allow student-athletes to return to play, concluding the three Fall sports seasons.
This pilot program involves the student-athletes being tested for COVID-19 with rapid-result antigen testing to clear them for play. The added information was not available until Tuesday and won't be readily available for schools involved until after Christmas. According to the MHSAA's release, the Department of Health and Human Services will be conducting webinars for school personnel to conduct the testing. On December 30th, at the earliest, teams and individuals will be allowed to practice again following negative tests. Proper epidemic protocols remain with masks, social distancing and sanitization continuing through the pilot program.
With the latest delay, the playoffs for these three sports will also have their timeline changed to return to competition. The first competition in the recent reboot was for 11-Man Football Regional Finals and 8-Man State Semifinals scheduled for January 2, 2021. The new dates will be determined in the future. The new timeline will also push back practices for the Winter sports except for Skiing, which also returned to practice on Monday, December 21st.