MHSAA still planning for fall sports in fall – for now

Clarkston News Sports Writer
With summer in full swing, Clarkston High School athletes have continued to work out with their teams and prepare for the fall season.
Back on June 30, Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for the Michigan High School Athletic Association to consider postponing fall sports where social distancing is difficult for the sport and have more individualized sports like track and field, tennis or golf in the fall.
“Right now, we’re still planning on fall sports in fall,” said Geoff Kimmerly, Media & Content Coordinator from the MHSAA, in an email to The Clarkston News, July 1.
He added the public can expect information from their office during the third week of July.
“By then, we’ll either be able to provide guidelines on adjustments necessary to add increased safety for fall sports, or any contingency plan we might have to adopt that would move sports,” Kimmerly said.
“I hope they really consider,” said Whitmer, adding it’s important to give kids some normalcy. “I know how important a lot of athletics is and want to make sure we proceed safely.”
Whitmer’s plan is part of the MI Safe Schools Roadmap for minimum health and safety requirements for returning to the academic school year in the fall.
“The MI Safe Schools Roadmap outlines protocols for athletics in different phases of the MI Safe Start Plan,” Whitmer said. “We thought it was important to attach different expectations based on the phase the region is in.
“For example, in Phase 4, students, teachers and staff have to use proper hygiene techniques before and after every practice, event or other gathering. Every participant needs to confirm they are healthy and without any symptoms prior to the event. All equipment needs to be disinfected before and after use. Spectators are allowed to take part provided facial coverings are used and they observe six feet of social distancing at all times. There are more things, but that’s an example.”
Athletes currently answer three questions before arriving to their workout session – Have you had flu-like symptoms? Have you been out of town? Have you been exposed to anyone who had COVID-19? Upon arrival, they get their temperatures checked by qualified personnel.
“We have the protocols working with the MHSAA guidelines. We were just compliant on everything we need to do,” said Clarkston Athletics Director Jeff Kosin when student-athletes started working out again, June 22. “We have to be cautious as we move forward. We don’t want to rush into things and have it cancelled all over again. We are taking all the necessary precautions to make sure our student-athletes and coaches are safe. That’s our top charge moving forward on this.”

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