BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Athletics is on a pause after the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced on Sunday they were suspending fall tournaments for girls volleyball, girls swimming & diving and football as well as all winter sports practices and competitions scheduled for the next three weeks.
It was per the emergency order to pause activity by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“Our plan for the fall tournaments are they are suspended. They are not cancelled.” said MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl in a Zoom press conference with the media on Monday afternoon, adding the same goes for winter sports.
“Our goal as we started off this new athletic year was we were going to find a way to have three seasons in 2020-2021. We were going to find out a way to make sure each of those three seasons culminated with a finish during 2020-2021. Certainly with the latest curveball all of us, every citizen in Michigan got last night (Sunday), we are heading into another three week very similar to the shelter in place from last winter and spring, our goals and our plans have not changed.
Uly explained MHSAA’s Representative Council is meeting this Wednesday to create updated schedules for both the fall tournaments and winter practices and competitions.
“What I can tell you for our three sports is we will have a plan that completes those tournaments in the calendar year,” he said. “Right now we are going to take the emergency order at its face value. We are going to wait until December 8, hopefully our numbers will get to the point where we can resume practice and competition. We will try to get those three fall tournaments completed by January 1.”
Volleyball had quarterfinals, semifinals and finals this week with many of the quarterfinal competitions on Tuesday, before the executive order was to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Uyl explained with the COVID-19 numbers and state government officials putting schools and school sports on a three-week shutdown, playing on Tuesday didn’t seem right.
“That’s why we decided to suspend those fall tournaments immediately,” he said. “We felt given the gravity of action taken, it seemed to us play volleyball matches all over the state wasn’t responsible.”
Swimming & diving had state finals scheduled for this week as well. The 11 and 8-Player Football playoffs also were nearing their conclusions, with the 8-player postseason two games from completion and 11-player down to its final three rounds.
Many of the winter sports had tryouts within the last few weeks and have held practices.