Covid Weekly Testing for Players 13 years old and up
Published by Ryan Davis
Mar 29, 2021
As you may be aware, recently the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an updated epidemic order that introduced new requirements in the handling of youth sports.
Specifically, starting on April 2nd, athletes between the ages of 13-19 participating in both contact and non-contact sports, including athletes playing in school sponsored sports or as a part of non-school affiliated programs - like those that make up the Mid Michigan Pony League - will be required to undergo WEEKLY covid testing in order to participate in practices and/or games. This new order was put into effect on March 20th, and the language was clarified throughout the past week to make it clear that this is going to impact any teams in our league that have someone 13 years or older. You can find a great deal of information on this new 'MI Safer Sports Testing Program', including what it entails and directions on how to enroll your program here.
The owners of the fields used by Mason teams - local municipalities and the school district - will be requiring that we act in full accordance with this order, and this will likely be the case for many if not all of your programs as well.
Here in Mason, per the recommendations of the MDHHS, the Mason Baseball Softball Club will be attempting to work with Mason Public Schools to see if we can have our Mason athletes included in the testing the school will already be required to perform for their own spring sport athletes. If we are unable to go this route for our Mason kids then we would have to find another means to test those impacted players on a weekly basis and record the results of the testing, or no longer offer Mason teams at those age groups. As for how you will comply with this order, we suggest you look to your local school district to see if you can be included in their spring sports testing first before seeking alternatives. We'll keep you all notified of different options we may hear about that stand out to us.
This is big, and it's a lot to add to all of our plates at this point in time. Right now the order only runs through mid-April, but there is every reason to expect the end date for this order will be pushed out further into the future. On top of that, it is either currently or soon will be spring break for all of our communities. For this season, we are asking that any teams or communities read the information at the links above, decide on how they will proceed for their team(s), and then write to let us know your plan for complying with this order. Again, this will only be required for players 13-19 years old. Anyone that is currently 12 that will turn 13 while the order is in effect will have to begin testing after their birthday.
In Mason we anticipate that this could cause some players to cancel their registration for this season. Knowing the potential for disruption on U13/14 teams, we plan to put a hold on opening up scheduling for just these divisions until we have received a response from each team at this group indicating how you plan to proceed. If there are any changes to the order, we'll communicate those as soon as we hear about them.