MHSAA Announces Changes to Hockey, Basketball and Soccer Postseasons
The Michigan High School Athletic Association recently held its spring representative council meeting and made changes to postseasons for soccer, hockey and basketball, among other decisions.
During the meeting, which was held remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the council approved that beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, hockey regionals will now place the top two teams in each regional on opposite sides of the regional bracket, guaranteeing the top two teams would not meet until the regional championship contest. The top two seeds will be determined using the Michigan Power Rating computer formula that is already utilized by basketball, soccer and boys lacrosse.
Also approved during the meeting, any existing byes will be awarded to the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, in that order, of basketball and soccer brackets, if multiple byes are part of a bracket. The randomly-selected draw order for remaining teams in a bracket will continue.
In addition to postseason changes, the representative council also approved recommendations from the baseball committee. In regards to the baseball postseason tournament, the super regional has been renamed the quarterfinal, with trophies and medals presented to both regional champions and after the day’s regional finals have been completed and prior to the quarterfinal matching the two regional final winners. Also, during even-numbered years, state semifinals for Division 2 and Division 4 will be played on Thursday while Division 1 and Division 3 will be played on Friday. The semifinal schedule will flip during odd-numbered years.
The representative council also approved a suspended-game policy for baseball. It states that any game that is called before it reaches regulation, or when the score is tied, is suspended and the contest will resume at a later time from that point. If both schools agree, a game called prior to regulation can be replayed in its entirety.
On the football side of things, the representative council approved extending the running clock when a team leads by 50 or more points to both the first and second halves of a contest. The 50-point running clock will only stop for player injuries and previously was only utilized during the second half. The 35-point running clock will remain in effect if the point differential dips below 50 points or until the 50-point differential is reached again. The 35-point running clock allows for stoppages for penalty enforcement, scoring plays and called timeouts.
For skiing, the council approved a ski committee recommendation that will allow skiers who qualify for the MHSAA state finals in one discipline at a regional to compete in both disciplines at the state finals.