TRI-CITY AREA — The final rounds of the Michigan High School Athletic Association postseason tournaments in football, girls’ volleyball plus girls’ swimming and diving will be completed during January as the MHSAA continues to comply with all emergency orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Football teams could begin two days of outdoor non-contact conditioning and drills on Monday, December 28, in advance of the first round of testing December 30 as part of an MDHHS rapid testing pilot program. Schools will test players, coaches and other team personnel, with full-contact practice then allowed after a first round of negative results. The testing program will utilize BinaxNow antigen tests that produce results within 15 minutes.

For football, 11-player regional finals and 8-player semifinals will be played Saturday, January 9. The 8-player finals and 11-player semifinals will be played Saturday, January 16; and 11-player finals will be played during the weekend of January 22-23.

The MDHHS’s current epidemic order, which paused activity beginning November 18, is set to expire January 15. If restrictions of non-contact sports are lifted then volleyball plus swimming and diving could practice and compete at that time outside of the required rapid testing program. If the MDHHS epidemic order continues, volleyball along with swimming and diving could begin practice, but those teams and individuals will have to follow all requirements of the MDHHS rapid testing pilot program to be eligible to participate. Specific plans and dates for volleyball plus girls’ swimming and diving practice resumption and MHSAA tournaments will be finalized and shared with competing schools in early January.

Volleyball competition will restart with quarterfinals and Lower Peninsula girls’ swimming and diving has advanced to its finals. The championship events in both sports would be completed no later than January 30.

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.