Winter prep sports team got a mixed bag of news on Wednesday.
The positive news is that boys/girls bowling can begin practices on Saturday, Jan. 16 and then begin competing on Monday, Jan. 25.
The negative news is that boys/girls basketball, hockey, wrestling and competitive cheer may begin non-contact practices on Saturday but can't compete until at least Feb. 1.
Those are the latest organized sports update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MHSAA had said that competition could begin as soon as Jan. 22 in basketball, hockey, wrestling and cheer but that will be pushed back. Because of the later start in competition schedules, the MHSAA will adjust its tournament dates for those four sports to conclude on later dates than what is originally scheduled. Those updates will be announced later this week.
"We are glad to have three more sports (gymnastics, bowling and boys swim) join skiing in returning to full activity but we understand the disappointment and frustration on the part of our athletes and coaches whose sports are not yet able to restart completely," MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said. "We will continue to adjust schedules to provide all our winter teams as substantial an experience as possible, as part of our greater plan this school year to play all three seasons to conclusion.
"We have shown with our remaining fall sports this month that our schools can particiate safely, and we're confident teams will continue to take all the appropriate precautions as we jump back into indoor winter activities."
While basketball, hockey, wrestling and cheer teams may resume practices indoors on Saturday, social-distancing guidelines must be observed and there can be no drills with body-to-body contact.
Face coverings must be worn in all sports by competitors, except when they are actively competing in gymnastics, skiing and swimming.
Spectators will be capped at 100 persons in school gyms or 250 in stadiums and arenas, per MDHHS orders.