MHSAA expands basketball season

Baldwin coach favors move to 22 games

Baldwin boys basketball coach JJ Eads is looking forward to a 22-game regular season next year.

Baldwin boys basketball coach JJ Eads is looking forward to a 22-game regular season next year.

File photo

BALDWIN – Basketball teams usually enter a regular season with hopes of going 20-0.

Make that 22-0 now.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association took action at a recent representative council meeting to allow, beginning with the 2022-23 season, high school basketball teams to play up to 22 regular-season games at every level (varsity, junior varsity and freshman). 

Teams previously played a maximum of 20 games during the regular season but this adjustment brings MHSAA school schedules in line with what is allowed in most other Midwest states. Also mandatory preseason practice was reduced by one week, allowing teams to begin playing games after 14 days instead of 21. 

“I am for it,” Baldwin boys basketball coach and athletic director JJ Eads said. “Other states have played more games than us for a long time. I know BCAM (Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan) has been pushing for more games for several years now.

“It gives us more opportunities to play nonleague games. We only had two the last few years. It is great to play against different competition in the area. Kids love playing games. But it means less practice time, and makes it difficult to find officials for more games.

Ead expects to have 22 games for 2022-23.

“We are still looking for one more game but should be able to fill it soon hopefully,” Eads said, adding, on the shorter preseason, “I am not a big fan of that due to the Thanksgiving holiday where it is becoming more difficult to get practices in during that long weekend. Overall though, it's not bad. Our season is so long already so cutting it down a week is okay.”

“I believe it is a step in the right direction. Now we need more division.”

Boys and girls basketball teams play in four divisions across Michigan. Many coaches would like to see five or six divisions.