Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Sunday that all sports in the state other than professional and college must stop immediately for three weeks due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. In response, the Michigan High School Athletic Association plans to delay its ongoing state playoffs but doesn't intend to cancel them.
Michigan was scheduled to play regional football finals this weekend but now must wait until at least the first week of December to resume. Eight-man football has two weeks to complete tournaments and 11-man needs three weeks. The state finals were originally scheduled Dec. 3-4 indoors at Ford Field in Detroit.
The state has completed all but three of its fall sports season with football, girls volleyball and girls swimming and diving remaining. The latter two were to be completed this weekend. Playing December football games outdoors in Michigan will be a challenge but won't deter the MHSAA said its executive director Mark Uyl.
"We will suspend our three remaining fall tournaments and figure out how to get those completed," he told the Detroit Free Press
The Michigan change comes one week after the Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced it would push back its playoffs one week due to rising COVID-19 cases. First-round playoff games in that state will now begin this weekend with championship games delayed seven days to Dec. 17-19.
Football playoffs were completed in three states Friday and Saturday — North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming — and seven more are scheduled to do so this week: Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio and Utah.
Alaska canceled its football championships — scheduled Oct. 30 — one week into the playoffs due to rising COVID-19 cases, primarily in and around Anchorage.