EAST LANSING — Nearly 95,000 athletes from across the state are expected to begin practices Monday, Aug. 8, kicking off the 2022 fall season in nine sports for which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors tournaments. post-season.
Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country, Soccer, Lower Peninsula Women’s Golf, Men’s Soccer, Lower Peninsula Girls’ Swim and Diving, Upper Peninsula Women’s Tennis and Men’s Tennis lower peninsula and women’s volleyball can start training on Monday. Competition begins Aug. 15 for golf and tennis, Aug. 17 for cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, and volleyball, and Aug. 25 for college football. Football teams at all levels must have 12 days of pre-season training – over a period of 16 calendar days – before their first game.
The start of a school year always brings with it at least a handful of notable changes or adjustments to the rules of play regarding MHSAA tournament competition. Among the most notable 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, junior scholar, 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 on 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 the 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 area, 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 enforce the rule, as deciding if blocks are occurring above and below the waist is easier than using the knee to decide if a violation has occurred.
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.
The 2022 fall campaign culminates in post-season tournaments beginning with the Upper Peninsula Girls’ Tennis Finals the week of September 26 and ending with the 11-man Soccer Finals on September 25 and November 26. Here is a complete list of fall tournament dates:
UP Finals – October 22
LP Regionals – October 28 or 29
LP Finals – November 5
11 player football
Selection Sunday – October 23
Pre-districts – October 28 or 29
District Finals – November 4 or 5
Regional Finals – November 11 or 12
Semi-finals – November 19
Finals – November 25-26
8 player football
Selection Sunday – October 23
Regional semi-finals – October 28 or 29
Regional Finals – November 4 or 5
Semi-finals – November 12
Finals – November 18 or 19
LP Girls Golf
Regionals – October 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8
Finals – October 14-15
LP Boys Districts – October 12-22
LP Boys Regionals – October 25-29
LP Boys Semi-Finals – November 2
LP Boys Finals – November 5
LP Girls Swimming and Diving
Diving Regionals – November 10
Swimming/Diving Finals – November 18-19
UP Girls Finals – September 28, 29, 30 or October 1
LP Boys Regionals – October 5, 6, 7 or 8
LP Boys Finals – October 13-15
Districts – Oct. 31-Nov. 5
Regionals – November 8 and 10
Quarter-finals – November 15
Semi-finals – November 17-18
Finals – November 19