Volleyball teams still waiting for green light from MHSAA

Baldwin's volleyball team hopes to move indoors very soon. (Star file photo)

Baldwin's volleyball team hopes to move indoors very soon. (Star file photo)

BIG RAPIDS - The Michigan High School Athletic Association continues to wait from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office on her executive orders which are keeping various sports seasons, including volleyball and soccer, in limbo.

There's also some discussion on possibly playing football in the fall, although it's been moved to the spring.

Only Regions 6 and 8, which consist of the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Michigan, are in phase 5 and can be indoors and can have soccer and volleyball.

For area teams, volleyball still has to be practiced outdoors and no home soccer matches can be played. Teams can go up north and play, however. Big Rapids has a varsity and JV soccer match at Cadillac tonight. Cadillac is in a region that's in phase 5. Big Rapids is still in the Grand Rapids region and is in phase 4.

"We do not know what's next in terms of executive order 160," MHSAA spokesman Geoff Kimmerly said on Tuesday, "only that we've made our desires known. We hope to hear something this week, and certainly we don't want to get too far into September with teams in Regions 1-5 and 7 still practicing but not competing in volleyball, soccer and swimming.

"That order is keeping us from playing those sports in those regions, because 160 does not allow indoor activities or pools to open for volleyball and swimming for regions in Phase 4, and also does not allow competition without social distancing such as soccer, also possibly volleyball. As I said, we hope to have decisions one way or the other soon, and before we get into the middle of this month."

Kimmerly indicated if volleyball and soccer can't be played in all of the Lower Peninsula, this fall, they would go to the spring but the fall seasons in Regions 6 and 8 would continue.

"The Representative Council postponed football to spring a little more than two weeks ago," Kimmerly said. "But over the last week to 10 days, multiple non-school groups have begun to discuss or offer opportunities to play in place of the high school season this fall. We have maintained all along that MHSAA member schools are able to provide the safest opportunity to play football, with precautions managed by trained school coaches.

"So we have said, if football is going to play regardless this fall, the MHSAA needs to be back in the conversation. Of course, EO 160 would have to change for football to be played as well. We are not at that place, but have made this known in the event restrictions are lifted at some point."