posted on March 02, 2021 21:25
Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or [email protected]
EAST LANSING, Mich. – March 2 – The Michigan High School Athletic Association has revised its 2021 Wrestling Tournaments, scheduled for the final three weeks of March and first weekend of April, in an effort to reduce the mixing of communities and spread of COVID-19. The MHSAA also has selected Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo as this year’s host site for the Teams Finals on March 30 and Individual Finals to be wrestled April 2-3.
As in non-COVID seasons, the wrestling postseason will be divided into separate tournament tracks for teams and individuals, with competition at the District, Regional and Finals levels. Competition at the District and Regional levels for both the team and individual tournaments will follow the MHSAA’s traditional formats, which is possible due to the COVID-19 rapid testing required of each participating wrestler. Districts will be wrestled during the week of March 15, with Regionals the following week.
However, a number of changes for this season’s Finals have been put in place to provide the same experience for qualifying athletes but with more precautions to limit possible exposure to the virus.
Team Wrestling: Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals will be wrestled Tuesday, March 30 at Wings Event Center, with all rounds over one day instead of the traditional two. Two areas within Wings Event Center – the “Valley” and “Arena” – will host matches for Quarterfinals and Semifinals, with all four championship matches wrestled simultaneously in the Arena to conclude the event. Divisions 2 and 4 will compete in the Arena, and Divisions 1 and 3 in the Valley prior to the title matches.
Individual Wrestling: All rounds of the Individual Finals will be wrestled at Wings Event Center over the course of one day – Divisions 2 and 3 will compete Friday, April 2, and Divisions 1 and 4 will wrestle April 3. Both arenas within Wings Event Center will be used each day – one for each division – with all rounds including championship matches wrestled in that specific area. Divisions 3 and 1 will compete in the Arena, and Divisions 2 and 4 will compete in the Valley.
Determinations of which divisions were assigned to wrestle in Wings’ Arena and Valley were made by a blind draw conducted by the MHSAA in partnership with the executive board of the Michigan Wrestling Association, the statewide coaches association for the sport. Teams scheduled to wrestle in the Valley during the Team Quarterfinals and Semifinals automatically were selected to wrestle in the Arena for all rounds of the Individual Finals.
Spectator limits at Regionals and Finals will be determined locally following Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders and will not exceed one per participant.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.