UPDATE: MHSAA suspends winter tournaments amid coronavirus concerns

(WLUC) - UPDATE: March 12, 3:00 p.m.

Postseason events sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association have been suspended immediately and indefinitely due to concerns related to COVID-19.

The Ice Hockey, Girls Gymnastics and Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals had been scheduled for this weekend, while the Girls & Boys Basketball Tournaments are midway through earlier rounds of their playoff progressions.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recommended a stoppage of large gatherings in order to assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“Based on the events of the last 48 hours and with things changing by the minute, we believe we have no choice but to suspend our winter tournaments immediately,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This is a suspension until we have a better handle on the situation. The health and welfare of everyone involved is our number one priority.”

Uyl added that more information and updates will be forthcoming over the next few days. No timetable has been determined for possible rescheduling for tournaments.

Click for a video statement from Mark Uyl.

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.

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ORIGINAL STORY:
Postseason events sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association and scheduled for this weekend will be conducted as scheduled, the MHSAA announced Thursday.

However, attendance will be restricted at all events through this weekend, with updates to be announced Monday for the remainder of the girls and boys basketball tournaments.

The MHSAA Ice Hockey Semifinals and Finals will be played Thursday-Saturday at USA Hockey Arena. On Thursday, Marquette plays Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice at 7:30 p.m. in a Division 2 semifinal. In a Division 3 semifinal, Calumet plays Detroit Country Day at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Girls Gymnastics at Rockford High School also will be competed Friday and Saturday this weekend.

Girls Basketball Regional Finals are scheduled for Thursday night across the state, as are Boys District Finals on Friday.

However, for Hockey Semifinals and Finals and Gymnastics Team Finals – events with far fewer participants – a limited number of spectators will be allowed, as determined by participating schools, to include only parents, legal guardians and essential administrators. Basketball games during the next two days also will allow only limited spectators, as determined by participating schools and following these same restrictions. Each competing school will provide the entry list of parents, legal guardians and essential administrators to the host site prior to each contest.

To recap, here is a breakdown of sport-by-sport attendance and broadcast stipulations.

Boys Ice Hockey Semifinals and Finals
Rounds: Semifinals on March 13-14, Finals on March 15
Attendance: Limited to parents, legal guardians and essential administrators.
Broadcast: Live streaming of all 12 games on MHSAA.tv.

Girls Basketball Regional Finals
Rounds: All scheduled for March 12.
Attendance: Limited to parents, legal guardians and essential administrators.
Broadcast: Live streaming of some games, with subscription, on MHSAA.tv.

Boys Basketball District Finals
Rounds: All scheduled for March 13.
Attendance: Limited to parents, legal guardians and essential administrators.
Broadcast: Live streaming of some games, with subscription, on MHSAA.tv.

Girls Gymnastics Finals
Rounds: Team Finals on March 13, Individual Finals on March 14
Attendance: Limited to parents, legal guardians and essential administrators on March 13. No onsite spectators allowed March 14.
Broadcast: Live streaming of Team and Individual Finals on MHSAA.tv.

Bands, cheerleaders and gatherings in parking lots or elsewhere on-site will not be allowed. Restrictions on noisemakers, etc., will continue to be upheld for those fans who will attend.

For those allowed to be present, there will be no attendance charged at any of these five events. Online ticket sales have been stopped, and all tickets that have been purchased are voided and will be fully refunded.

Fans not allowed to attend will have the opportunity to watch coverage of all three of this weekend’s Finals live on MHSAA.tv. Complete streaming of all 12 Hockey Semifinals and Finals games is scheduled, as is streaming of both the Team and Individual Gymnastics Finals and both preliminaries and Finals for swimming & diving. MHSAA.tv also will carry a number of girls and boys basketball games this weekend as part of its usual subscription coverage by members of the School Broadcast Program.

For more information, visit the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s website.

Meantime, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association has announced it has canceled all of its remaining state championships, including high school, youth, and adult games that were set to begin or are already in process.

MAHA also announced it has postponed the youth player development tryouts that were scheduled to take place over the next several weeks.

The girls' tryout, scheduled for mid-April, will remain as scheduled for the time being and will be subject to change as the situation progresses.

Updates from the MAHA can be found here.



 
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