Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is suggesting all Michigan youth sports take a two-week break to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The MHSAA’s response? Nah, that’s OK.
During a news conference on Friday, Whitmer asked — but did not mandate — youth sports to take a two-week pause from all activities.
Michigan High School Athletic Association executive director Mark Uyl did not see a need to stop the spring sports schedule.
“We’re going to play two days of basketball and really make no changes for the spring,” Uyl told the Free Press on Friday. “We followed the orders — every order — going back to July. Whenever the orders have allowed us to play, we’ve played. So, obviously, local schools will have decisions to make, it could be on a league-wide basis. But once we get through basketball tomorrow night, everything is outdoors.”
Uyl told Bally Sports Detroit that spring sports student-athletes are required to test once a week and that the COVID-19 positivity rate is under 3%.
The spring sports season, which includes baseball, softball, track and field, golf, tennis, lacrosse and girls soccer, involves the least amount of close contact compared to fall and winter sports, according to Uyl. And all of those sports are played outdoors.
“Our spring sports group are far and away the lowest risk group collectively of the three seasons, plus there’s required testing in place,” Uyl told the Free Press. “So given the weekly testing requirement, given everything is outdoors, given all but soccer and lacrosse are noncontact sports, that’s where we’re at. Certainly, district are going to have to made decisions on their local conditions and circumstances, but that’s’ the guidance we’re giving to our schools, literally as we speak and that’s’ where we’ll be Monday.”
The governor also asked Michigan residents to avoid indoor restaurant dining and high schools to offer remote learning for the next two weeks.
“Where I feel like it’s a different dynamic for us is at 7 o’clock tomorrow night, we don’t do a thing indoors the rest of the school year,” Uyl told the Free Press. “Certainly the non-school world continues to do a lot of stuff indoors. But with the weekly testing and with us bring all outdoors, that’s why we’re going to continue to play.”
Contact Kirkland Crawford: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.