Michigan High School Athletic Association Announces Changes to Basketball, Baseball & Softball
On Tuesday morning, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is announcing that they will expand regular season schedules for boys and girls basketball. And they'll allow baseball and softball teams to play tournament games before Memorial Day.
The announcement comes just days after the MHSAA Representative Council's Winter Meetings in East Lansing.
In a ruling that takes effect next season, boys and girls basketball will now be allowed to play a maximum of 22 regular season games (and increase from the current 20 games), and shorten the amount of preseason practice time from 21 days to 14 days. Many coaches were in favor of this change because it will help allow them to play in more tournaments/jamborees around Christmas/New Year's Day. This rule change covers all levels of high school play (varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen).
Another part of the ruling that takes effect this spring is the change that will allow district games in baseball and softball before Memorial Day. Historically, the state tournament has always started the Tuesday after Memorial Day with pre-district games. This change addresses concerns from baseball coaches regarding the pitch count rule for pitchers and will allow athletes from smaller schools a better chance to play multiple sports in the same spring season (baseball and track, softball and track, etc.).
And for the first time, there will be specific events for wheelchair athletes in track and cross country. That ruling takes effect this spring as well. And now, beginning this coming fall, high school football teams will be allowed to "opt up" a division and be allowed to play a division above where their enrollment has them currently. Boys and girls basketball teams have been opting up a class/division for years to try to play better competition in the postseason tournaments. Now football teams will be allowed to do the same thing.