TRAVERSE CITY — Another announcement from the Michigan High School Athletic Association Tuesday changed the plans for many teams still participating in the volleyball and swimming and diving state finals.
The remaining 32 teams in the volleyball playoffs and all swimming and diving athletes left will be able to resume practice Jan. 4, following a round of negative BinaxNOW antigen testing.
Each sport’s championship tournaments will conclude on Jan. 16, with the volleyball quarterfinals resuming on Jan. 12.
The semifinal and final rounds of the volleyball tournament will still take place at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek Jan. 14-16, but no spectators will be allowed.
In fact, the latest release stated there will be no spectators allowed at any fall sports tournament events, including football. Football teams are receiving the tests this week to allow for full-contact practice to resume early next week before the Jan. 9 restart date.
The swimming and diving finals will be held at three sites on Jan. 14-15. Division 1 will be at Hudsonville, Division 2 at Grand Rapids Northview and Division 3 at Lake Orion. The diving finals will be held on Jan. 14 and swimming on Jan. 15.
Boy and girls skiing remained unbothered by the latest announcements.
Guidelines for the amount and frequency of rapid antigen tests were also released Tuesday. Teams will have to submit a round of negative tests before they are able to begin practice again Monday and test three times per week until competition is finished.
Athletes, coaches and all other team personnel directly involved in practice or competition must be tested before they are able to return.
The BinaxNOW antigen test take about 15 minutes to process and athletes must be cleared to play before they are able to step on the court for competition.
“I’m still super stressed out about the testing and I will just be holding my breath Sunday night or whenever we decide to do it,” Cadillac volleyball head coach Michelle Brines said. “I’m going to pick them up tomorrow, so we’ll have them on time and we don’t have to worry about doing that on Monday.”
The MHSAA gave coaches and athletic directors a chance to physically obtain the tests for their teams from the East Lansing offices and the Vikings are one of many taking advantage. The Cadillac football team is expected to take their first round of tests Wednesday.
If teams are unable to get them from East Lansing, the MHSAA has promised to have them to member schools in time for them to resume by the dates released Tuesday.