MHSAA approves policies

Sports VIEW

Lisa Paine — Sports Editor

Lisa Paine — Sports Editor

EAST LANSING — Approving a variety of regulations and sports activities policies were among the actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its annual Spring Meeting, May 1-2, in Bellaire.

In action regarding MHSAA Handbook matters, the Council strengthened the regulation which requires a coach or player to miss the next day of competition after being ejected from an event. If the ejection occurs during an MHSAA Tournament, the player or coach must miss the next day of tournament competition, and the next day of nontournament action if an event is scheduled between the two tournament dates. The action prevents schools from manufacturing a day of competition between two tournament dates to get someone eligible for the next day of the tournament.

Here is a summary of other actions taken at the Spring Representative Council Meeting which will take effect during the 2011-12 school year:

Handbook/Administrative Matters

 Once eliminated from MHSAA postseason tournament play or following its last regular-season competition, schools will not be allowed to scrimmage other teams in any sport at any level. Schools may still conduct practice until the MHSAA Finals take place in a sport.

 The Council approved an Officials Review Committee recommendation to revise the rating categories for when school teams are evaluating officials. The four new categories – consistent judgment and application of play rules, physical appearance, contest management and communication skills, and professionalism – replace eight existing categories, eliminate duplication, and streamline the process for schools and officials.

Sports Matters

 In Girls Competitive Cheer, the Council approved a committee recommendation that team members wear athletic shoes in competition, eliminating the use of gymnastics slippers and other footwear, to enhance safety.

 Watches will now be allowed to be worn by competitors in Cross Country and Track. The Council approved the committee recommendation to eliminate the “no watch rule,” which came in with the “no jewelry rule” in 1991.

 In Golf, a student may participate in the two qualifying stages of the U.S. Open Tournament conducted by the United States Golf Association without counting against his or her allowed two non-school competitions during the season.

 A shootout option to determine a winner during regular-season competition in Ice Hockey was approved. With advance approval by the competing team or by league adoption, a shootout may be used when regulation play ends in a tie. Three shooters from each team will be selected for the first round, and three different shooters for a second round if necessary. Single shots will then be taken after the second round, if necessary, to determine a winner. Neither team may repeat using a player for the shootout until all members of the smallest team’s roster have shot.

 In Soccer, the minimum requirement for an official game during MHSAA post-season tournament play will change from 40 to 60 minutes. If less time has been played and the margin is one goal or less, the suspended game will be resumed on another day. The Council also banned Vuvuzela horns at MHSAA Soccer Tournament games.

 In Swimming and Diving, the Council approved the committee recommendation to allow a diver doing a legal dive list which is judged but not scored in the team results to earn a “win” towards qualifying for MHSAA Regionals.

 A team point may now be deducted for a flagrant unsportsmanlike violation committed by a non-playing member of a team at any time during an MHSAA Tournament in Tennis.

 The recently-announced change in Wrestling weight classes by the National Federation of State High School Associations will not take place in Michigan in 2011-12. The Council voted to maintain the current weight-class structure of 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285 pounds; and will study the new Federation structure of 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285 pounds during the coming school year.

The Council also reviewed reports on membership, with 762 senior high schools and 773 junior high/middle schools in 2010-11, and eligibility advancement applications, which totaled 15 for the third straight year.

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