The MHSAA announced in a statement Friday afternoon that all remaining sports for the 2019-20 academic year have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move was inevitable, coming a day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order closing all K-12 schools in the state for the academic year.
It will be the first time since 1942-43, at the height of World War II, that multiple sports have seen their finals canceled in the state. All titles in winter sports that were earned prior to the shutdown will stand, but no championships will be awarded in the sports that were unable to start or complete their seasons.
The MHSAA had previously suspended winter sports tournaments on March 12 and all sports activity the following day as a result of the pandemic. The organization had been working on potential rescheduling of both winter tournaments and spring seasons prior to the closure of all schools.
“We are heartbroken to not be able to provide these opportunities for Michigan’s student-athletes, and especially seniors. We continue to hear from dozens asking us to hold out hope. But safety always must come first, and Governor Whitmer is making courageous decisions to safeguard the people of our state,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said in the statement. “We understand as much as anyone how much school sports mean to athletes and their communities. We had ideas and hopes for finishing Winter and Spring and helping bring some sort of normalcy after this long break. But this is the correct decision, and we will play our part in bringing schools and communities together again when the time is right.
“For now, we cannot state strongly enough that all students, staffs and others follow the guidelines established to slow the spread of this virus – we all must do our part.”
The MHSAA said that, moving forward, it will work on “guidelines and other information” regarding the potential return to action this fall.