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Michigan reverses field, will allow high school football this fall

On Thursday, the Michigan High School Athletic Association reinstated the fall high school football season.

The decision reverses an Aug. 14 decision that pushed the season to the spring.

The reversal came after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 176, which lifted restrictions against that made it impossible to play high school sports.

“We are thankful for the opportunity for kids to get back on the field in all fall sports, and we appreciate Governor Whitmer providing that opportunity with Executive Order 176,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “We share the Governor’s priorities of putting health and safety first, and the COVID-19 guidance and protocols designed by the MHSAA at her request have led to the safe starts in all sports across the state.

“Thirty three other states are currently participating in all fall sports, and the MHSAA and its member schools are committed to doing this as safely as possible. We are ready to again provide those experiences to students and communities that have hoped for a return of some normalcy. Given the challenges of online education in many school districts across the state, providing sports and a daily routine may be more important than ever in motivating students and providing a safe outlet for physical activity, competition and socialization.”

Teams will be permitted to begin practicing in helmets and shoulder pads on Sept. 8, and begin full padded practices on Sept. 10. Games may begin Sept. 18, leading to a 6-game season. Playoffs will conclude at the 8-man level on Nov. 28, and 11-man playoffs will run through Dec. 5.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.