Fall Sports Begins This Week, MHSAA Rolls Out Rule Changes Across Multiple Sports

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The start of football season might be on the minds of many at this time of year, although the rest of the fall sports scene is knocking on the door.

Fall sports across the region will begin this week, with men’s soccer, men’s tennis, cross country, women’s golf and volleyball.

The annual Lober Classic golf tournament takes place Monday and Tuesday, while Petoskey, Harbor Springs and Charlevoix soccer all kick off on Wednesday. Other events will follow throughout the week.

Like every year, there will be some changes on the Michigan High School Athletic Association State’s athletic scene.

Notable changes will take place in soccer and soccer, although there are more on the way in golf, swimming, diving and tennis.

MHSAA outlined all of the changes coming this fall here:

Marley Spence and the Petoskey Women's Golf Team kicked things off with the annual Lober Classic in Traverse City this Monday and Tuesday.

Among the most notable changes this fall will be the addition of a “third half” rule to football, which will allow an athlete to play in three combined halves over two games and at multiple levels (college, college junior, freshman) on the same day, any day of the week. This is similar to the fifth quarter rules in football and basketball approved in recent years to help programs with low athlete counts still have enough to continue fielding multi-level teams – typically with undergraduates. classes playing in multiple teams to keep rosters filled.

There is also an enhanced penalty starting this fall for violating fifth-quarter or third-half rules: Violators must forfeit the contest in which the violation occurred (college or sub-college), and that offending head coach will not be eligible. for the day after the competition.

The change to a playing rule most likely to be noticed by spectators comes in football, where intentional grounding has been adjusted to allow a setter to throw an incomplete forward pass to maintain distance – in essence, to throw the ball away to avoid being tackled for a loss, even when a receiver is not present near the destination of the pass – if the passer is outside the free blocking zone, or “pocket “, and as long as the pass reaches the line of scrimmage or the extension of the neutral zone beyond the sideline. This change makes the high school intentional grounding rule mirror those at the college and professional levels, and was made to conserve the amount of contact defensive players have with passers.

A second football rule change has also been made in the interests of safety, as cutting block – which is illegal – has been redefined to include any combination block by multiple teammates against the same opponent where one of the blocks is above the waist and the other is below. the size. Previously, the knee (instead of the waist) was the determining factor on a chop block. This change should also help officials apply the rule, as it is easier to decide if blockages are occurring above and below the waste than using the knee to decide if a violation has occurred.

Ava Tarsi and the Boyne City Volleyball team will get things going later this week at the annual tournament hosted by Pellston.

Another change in football rules will be noticeable in the MHSAA 11-man final, as head coaches will be given one challenge per game for the first time, with the game in question then being reviewed with a video replay. The challenge will cost that team a timeout if the initial result is confirmed.

Coaches will be allowed to challenge the following: complete/incomplete passes, whether a runner/receiver was in/out of bounds, a runner not being declared downed, point of forward progression as it relates to yardage to be won, which player is first kicked, recovery of a ball in/out of bounds, whether a pass was forward or backward, and penalties for illegal forward pass, targeting or contact illegal helmet, and pass interference only with respect to the previously deflected pass. All scores and potential turnovers will automatically remain under review by the replay booth managers.

Three more notable rule changes for fall sports also affect MHSAA tournament competition.

There is a new qualification process for divers wishing to qualify for the Lower Peninsula Finals. In each of the three divisions, each Regional will be guaranteed 10 Finals qualifiers, with an additional six “floating” qualifying entries to be distributed to Regionals who have one of the top six divers returning from the previous year’s Finals in their areas. If a team changes divisions from the previous season, the top six floating spots are added to the six already allowed in the school’s new division.

In golf, the maximum number of strokes allowed per hole during the MHSAA tournament has been reduced from 12 to 10. In addition, teams will be allowed two school-approved coaches to attend and actively coach during the playoffs.

In tennis, the number of players who can be seeded in singles No. 1 has been increased to seven if there are between 21 and 23 players on the court, and to eight if the court has 24 or more players at that time. flight. Singles Flight No. 1 is the only flight that allows for individual regional play qualifications, often making it larger than the other seven flights in the finals.

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