EAST LANSING, Mich. – May 18 – The adoption of a change in how basketball and volleyball teams will be classified for Michigan High School Athletic Association tournaments was among notable actions taken by the Representative Council during its annual Spring Meeting, May 7-8, in Glen Arbor, in addition to MHSAA Finals site changes announced in a previous release May 9.
The Spring Meeting of the 19-member legislative body of the Association’s more than 1,400 member schools is generally the busiest of its three sessions each year. The Council considered 29 committee proposals and dealt with a variety of eligibility rule, postseason tournament and operational issues.
The tournaments in girls and boys basketball, and volleyball – the last to be organized based on traditional Class (A-B-C-D) enrollment breaks – instead will be conducted using equal divisions (1-2-3-4) beginning with the 2018-19 school year. The Council approved this change in response to a proposal by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan; Michigan’s interscholastic volleyball community also has expressed openness to equal divisions in the past. All other MHSAA tournaments, except for football, are conducted using equal divisions based on enrollment and determined prior to the school year. Football is the only sport requiring teams to qualify for postseason play, and its equal divisions are not determined until after the regular season ends.
After previously approving the addition of a second division to the 8-Player Football Playoffs for 2017-18 at its Winter Meeting, the Council approved the selection of the field after the ninth week of the regular season and based on playoff point average. The 32 teams with highest playoff point averages will be listed by enrollment, with the largest 16 placed in Division 1 and the smallest 16 in Division 2 of the 8-Player tournament.
Also concerning tournament setup, the Council chose to not adopt a Basketball Committee proposal that would have seeded both the girls and boys tournaments at the District and Regional levels. Instead, the Council instructed staff to examine seeding options for the District level only, to be presented at Council meetings during the 2017-18 school year.
Continuing a focus on athletes’ health and safety, and in the case of football reducing the number of collisions experienced by players, the Council approved a Football Committee recommendation that, after the first game of the regular season, limits teams to no more than 90 total minutes of collision practice in any week. Similar to the previous rule limiting teams to two days of collision contact per week after the first game, blocking and tackling techniques are allowed by the new rule – but full-speed contact is limited to players versus pads, shields, sleds or dummies. Players may continue to wear helmets and other protective pads for non-collision practice sessions.
Copyright MHSAA 2017. All rights reserved.