MHSAA waives pre-participation physicals for 2020-21

BUCHANAN — When the Michigan High School Athletic Association hosted its annual spring meeting on May 4, it dealt with many proposals from the various sports committees.

It also decided some addressed some concerns dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and regulations.

Due to the suspension of spring sports and the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” state order, the MHSAA decided to waive the pre-participation physicals for athletes for the 2020-21 school year. If a student-athlete already received a physical during the 2019-20 school year, they will only have to fill out and sign the MHSAA’s annual sports health questionnaire.

This is not a new idea, according to athletic directors at Buchanan and Brandywine high schools. But it is new for Michigan.

“I believe that the questionnaire that they have to feel out will identify any new medical issues student-athletes may have and require them to get an updated physical,” said Buchanan athletic director Lonnie Hoover. “I believe that other states are already doing this.”

Brandywine athletic director Vance Stratton said that physical forms are still available at the athletic office or on the MHSAA’s website.

“The student still has to have the newly developed two-page questionnaire from the MHSAA filled out and on file to be eligible to play,” he said. “It is my understanding the reason behind this is the backlog and lack of availability of being able to get a physical done in time for the seasons to begin, and if certain questions are answered a specific way, then a physical will be required. As a parent, I would always think it would be best for my child to have a current physical if it were at all possible.”

The MHSAA has also waved the seven-day “dead period” it has each summer. High schools are typically required to shut down all athletic activities during seven consecutive days across the entire state.

This year, schools may opt not to have the dead period if schools reopened in time for summer activities. Currently, the state of Michigan, schools are closed for the rest of the 2019-20 year, which usually ends June 30.

 

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