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School districts largely defer to MHSAA in determining fate of fall sports

Under the MHSAA's plan, they decided that low risk sports can start practice and competition on time while other high-risk sports would be delayed.

Thursday night, Lansing Public Schools announced that it would cancel all fall sports. School Board President Gabrielle Lawrence said, "if it's not safe for kids to return to school in person, it's certainly not safe for them to compete in athletics."

Despite that, the Michigan High School Athletic Association adopted a plan to phase in competition for fall sports. Many schools in West Michigan are following their lead and plan to continue on with fall sports under those guidelines. 

Under the MHSAA's plan, they decided that low risk sports can start practice and competition on time while other high-risk sports would be delayed. This set the timeline for boys soccer and girls volleyball to begin practicing Aug. 12. 

Football was delayed with practices not starting until Monday, Aug. 17. But football conditioning can start Monday.

In West Michigan, Comstock Park Public Schools said they are still following this plan, even knowing Lansing's decision. 

Grand Rapids Public Schools is also complying with the MHSAA guidelines. A statement read in part: "Our intent is to deliver athletic programming in accordance to any and all guidelines set forth by all governing bodies providing mandates or directions for school programs as long as our ability and capacity remains effective in mitigating health and safety risks."

The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, which oversees all districts in Muskegon County, said they have not made a decision yet. But Muskegon Public Schools said they plan to do whatever MHSAA decides. 

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