EAST LANSING – The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association approved today an adjustment to the Spring 2021 schedule delaying the start of practices in those sports one week to March 22 and competition to March 26 to accommodate a later end to Winter sports this season. The calendar change should alleviate pressures on indoor facility usage and athletes changing seasons with Winter sports concluding up to two weeks later this school year after a delayed start due to COVID-19.
The Council based its decision in part on feedback from a survey of MHSAA member high schools, which saw 74 percent favoring a delay in Spring sports activity of at least one week. State coaches associations for Spring sports also were consulted. Generally, the great majority of Michigan schools are unable to begin consistent Spring sports outdoor activity and competition until early April.
All Spring sports tournament dates remain as originally scheduled, with MHSAA Finals in baseball, softball and girls soccer concluding the 2020-21 postseason June 19.
The entire Spring sports season was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, the Council approved an allowance for Spring teams to meet for voluntary practices over 16 contact days this past September and October. General conditioning with an unlimited number of students is currently allowed, with other out-of-season training (four-player workouts, open gyms/facilities) allowed to continue through March 21, with Council having eliminated the preseason downtime restriction for Spring sports this year.
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.