The MHSAA representative Council meets three times a year, once in the fall, once in the winter, and once in the spring. The spring meeting is the one that generally brings the biggest changes to high school sports in the state of Michigan. We’ve recently seen the meeting bring a change in the football playoff point system to determine who’s in and who’s out, and also the implementation of seeding in basketball and hockey. This year, the representative council has brought about some major changes that will affect all sports in the state.
This year the council shifted rules regarding out-of-state competition. Beginning in this 2023-2024 school year, member schools may continue to compete against teams from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario – but may also compete against teams from anywhere in the country as long as the games take place in one of those 6 states or Ontario. This removes a rule that only allowed member schools to travel 300 miles to play an out-of-state opponent.
In a more controversial move, and what the MHSAA claims is a “effort to strengthen undue influence regulation” the council approved a change making it a violation for coaches or their representatives to connect via social media with students from another high school or with a student prior to ninth grade who has not yet enrolled in a high school or participated in an athletic practice or competition as a high school student. Violations include connecting via social media with a “follow,” “friend request,” or “direct message.” Which will make it interesting to see how they navigate handling coaches whose kids may be athletes at another school.
For more local sports coverage, tune into the Sports Drive weekdays from 3-4pm with Luke Ghiardi and Tyler Young on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1 – 99.9.