Current Status for 20-21 Sports
The MHSAA gives Holland Christian our specific guidance for sports for this unique 20-21 school year. We experienced numerous protocol changes for athletes in fall sports stemming from EO-160 on July 31 through EO-180 on September 9. The potential for athlete quarantines causing event cancellations (whether Holland Christian students or our opponents) became our new normal as local health departments attempt to mitigate potential spread. While the Michigan Supreme Court removed many executive orders on October 2nd, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) executed orders on October 5th which kept the direction of the MHSAA guidance unchanged. On October 22, a plan for winter sports with 2 spectators per participant was communicated from the Representative Council of the MHSAA and all winter sports were slated to begin on time. On November 15 the MDHHS issued a more restrictive “Gatherings and Face Mask Order” to take effect on November 18, including all Michigan high schools moving to virtual education. Operating under the this order, the MHSAA subsequently suspended all practices and contests for middle school and high school sports through December 8 effective immediately. Please continue to stay flexible with the changes as we together attempt to mitigate the spread AND complete each of our three sport seasons. Things will inevitably change, but below is our current status. As members of the MHSAA and the OK Conference, spectators, coaches and athletes must accept the rules put forth for all member schools to be in compliance with each other and be able to compete interscholastically.
Girls high school aquatics is our only fall sport with post season competition left. The state meet scheduled for November 21 is postponed to December 22 for diving and December 23 for swimming. Practice preparation for state finals will hopefully begin on December 9.
All middle school and high school winter sports, whether they began already or not, are suspended through December 8. Virtual program/team communication is encouraged to keep teams engaged, moving forward mentally as best they can and physically helping athletes practice on their own. The start and continuation of winter 1 middle school sports and winter high school sports will hopefully begin on December 9 with competitions beginning on January 4 for high school sports.
The OK Conference recently adjusted our high school basketball schedules to utilize gender specific triple headers for all games. This means genders will consistently play basketball at opposite sites at 4pm (9th), 5:30pm (JV) and 7pm (varsity). Friday conference games will not feature boys/girls varsity double headers. While this situation remains extremely fluid, divisional swim meets and basketball games will take priority over non-conference matchups. This is a link to current HS schedules.
All fall and spring out of season activities are also suspended through December 8, again, except for program/team virtual communication. All students are invited to participate in after school workouts virtually from 3-4pm Monday-Thursday from November 23 through at least December 8. Students can participate together through google classroom from their home by connecting with the class code (6jcypgt) or directly registering with the link (https://classroom.google.com/c/MjMxODk5NjAyMjMz?cjc=6jcypgt).
Winter competitions resume for aquatics and basketball at both the middle school and high school levels the week of January 4. Winter 1 MS sports should be ready for 2-3 weeks of postponed competition. Be prepared for the continuation of 2 spectators per participant (1 per for some facilities), mandatory face masks for athletes & coaches, and spectator face masks if they choose to attend. There have not been any face mask waivers granted up to this point and failure to follow face mask protocols may result in stoppage of play.
Holland Christian plans to stream as many events as possible. Please see the linked blog post for Holland Christian and OK Blue streaming options (www.hollandchristian.org/hc-live-streaming-options).
The MHSAA recognizes the importance of the athletic experience for students and is making every effort to maintain and complete all three seasons. Holland Christian values these athletic opportunities as a way to educate the whole student and seeks to do so in a safe environment. These things are not always true in non-school sport programs that will certainly be available if school sports are not. As much as athletics have never been risk free, the MHSAA is actively mitigating physical risks to the best of their ability while considering the mental health risks of athletes as well. Thank you for your support and partnership… especially now… as we still seek to influence our sports culture for Christ. Our collective actions put God on display as we spectate, practice and compete. Please do all you can to stay flexible, positive and respectful at our opponents facilities in addition to our own as we move forward together. While not every detail is known about how to fight the virus most effectively, hygiene, mask, distancing and gathering practices give us the best potential to move forward with school sports for our athletes. We all have a role to play in mitigating the associated risks, but we know God’s faithfulness and his future presence is with us as we move “through it” (Isaiah 43:2) together. Go Maroons.