Traverse City News and Events

MHSAA Cancels Remainder Of High School Winter/Spring Sports Seasons

By Beth Milligan | April 4, 2020

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-20 winter and spring sports seasons in the state. This will be the first school year to not see MHSAA final tournaments played in multiple sports since 1942-43, when World War II led to the elimination of finals in most sports.

The MHSAA had previously suspended its girls and boys basketball, girls gymnastics, boys ice hockey, and boys swimming and diving tournaments on March 12 amid COVID-19 concerns. All activity in all sports was halted March 13. Spring sports to that point had begun practice, but not competition.

The MHSAA’s Representative Council approved during its winter meeting on March 27 a series of concepts for completing the winter tournaments and an abbreviated spring season, contingent on the lifting of a statewide quarantine. The closure of school buildings into June made those possibilities void.

“We are heartbroken to not be able to provide these opportunities for Michigan’s student-athletes, and especially seniors. We continue to hear from dozens asking us to hold out hope. But safety always must come first, and Governor Whitmer is making courageous decisions to safeguard the people of our state,” says MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl. “We understand as much as anyone how much school sports mean to athletes and their communities. We had ideas and hopes for finishing winter and spring and helping bring some sort of normalcy after this long break. But this is the correct decision, and we will play our part in bringing schools and communities together again when the time is right. For now, we cannot state strongly enough that all students, staffs, and others follow the guidelines established to slow the spread of this virus – we all must do our part.”

Because the five winter sports were not able to conclude with finals, no champions will be awarded in those sports for 2019-20. However, championships won at earlier rounds of those tournaments (district or regional) will continue to stand. The MHSAA will "provide guidelines and other information pertinent to this unusual offseason as attention is turned to preparing for fall 2020" in the coming weeks, the organization said.

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