Michigan became the 15th state Friday to move the 2020 high school football season to 2021. The Michigan High School Athletic Association representative council announced it will move football to the spring due to "football's higher risk for spreading COVID-19," while the rest of its fall sports will proceed as scheduled.
"At the end of the day, we did everything we could to find a path forward for football this fall," MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said. "But while continuing to connect with the Governor’s office, state health department officials, our member schools' personnel and the Council, there is just too much uncertainty and too many unknowns to play football this fall.
"No one is willing to take the risk of COVID being passed on because of a high-risk sport. Decisions have to be made on our other sports as well, but none of those carry the same close, consistent, and face-to-face contact as football."
The organization said that 34,219 student-athletes played football in 2019 with 603 schools sponsoring the sport.
Volleyball and soccer are considered moderate risk for virus spread and will start on time. Cross country, golf, tennis and swimming and diving are considered low risk and will also proceed as scheduled.
Details for the spring football season, including a specific schedule and format, will be announced over the next few months according to the MHSAA.
Other states to move football to 2021 include California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. The District of Columbia also pushed the season to next year.
On Friday morning, Florida announced its plan to keep football in the fall, while Wisconsin offered its schools two seasons — fall or spring — to play on the gridiron.
The high school football season kicked off Thursday in Utah
where 50 more games are scheduled to be played tonight. One Utah game
was already canceled because of three Bingham (South Jordan) players testing positive
for the coronavirus.