Southfield (CW50) – As schools opened and students returned to classrooms across the country, student-athletes returned to their fields and courts to start their fall sports seasons. The return of sports in the middle of a pandemic comes with complications. The Michigan High School Athletic Association stepped in with guidelines and restrictions in order to keep athletes, coaches, and families safe while traveling across the state to participate in, and spectate sporting events.
Initially, MHSAA’s guidelines were created to follow Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders on the COVID-19 pandemic. After the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Gov. Whitmer’s order were unconstitutional, MHSAA did not change their guidelines much and still outlined them based on the original restrictions across the state.
These guidelines include things like mask mandates for athletes, coaches, and officials. As of October 6, if an indoor event is in a fixed indoor seating venue (gymnasium or pool), 20% of seating capacity is allowed for up to 500 spectators. If an outdoor event is in a fixed outdoor seating venue (football or soccer stadium), 30% of seating capacity is allowed for up to 1,000 spectators. This is to help socially distance sectors from one another, and ensure the safety of athletes and their families. If their are local orders that are more strict than those of the MHSAA, member schools and host venues are expected to follow the stricter requirements.
Michigan High School Athletic Association Executive Director Mark Uyl joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to go over the guidelines for Michigan’s high school sports programs, and what he’s been hearing from athletes and their families about returning to sports in the middle of a pandemic.
Watch COMMUNITY CONNECT, Saturday at 7am on CW50