Three winter sports allowed to restart in full

NILES — Following Wednesday’s announcement from the governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, gymnastics, girls and boys bowling, and boys swimming and diving may restart the 2020-21 winter sports season.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that those sports can resume practice on Saturday, and then begin competition on Jan. 22 for gymnastics and swimming and diving, and on Jan. 25 for bowling.

Boys and girls basketball, along with wrestling and competitive cheer, can begin non-contact practices on Saturday. Their first date of competition will be on Feb. 1, which is when the current extension of the MDHHS orders are scheduled to expire.

“We are glad to have three more sports join skiing in returning to full activity, but we understand the disappointment and frustration on the part of our athletes and coaches whose sports are not yet able to restart completely,” said MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl. “We will continue to adjust schedules to provide all of our winter teams as substantial an experience this season as possible, as part of our greater plan this school year to play all three seasons to conclusion.

“We have shown with our remaining fall sports this month that our schools can participate safely, and we’re confident teams will continue to take all the appropriate precautions as we jump back into indoor winter activities.”

The MHSAA also said spring sports teams, and fall sports teams not participating in the MDHHS rapid testing pilot program, may resume non-contact conditioning on Saturday.

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