Friday August 21, 2020
Dear Blackhawk Families,
First, I apologize for the length of this update letter. I write today to inform you of what we know to this point with Fall sports. Below are some topics that have been most frequently asked in our athletic community.
Are Fall Sports Postponed/Canceled?
By now, I am sure most of you know that on August 14th, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) made the very tough decision to postpone high school and middle school football until the Spring of 2021. (Read MHSAA Update #6) This decision has been tough on all of us, especially for our HS and MS football players, coaches, and their families. This announcement also impacts our sideline cheerleaders, poms team, marching band, and our Brandon All-Sports Boosters. We know that the MHSAA staff is working hard to create a plan that would allow football season to be played in the spring, while having minimal impact on the other sports seasons that student-athletes may participate in.
No other fall sports have been postponed at this time. In fact, Girls Golf, Boys Tennis and Boys & Girls Cross Country have already started competitions! As for Boys Soccer, Girls Swim and Volleyball, the MHSAA released another update yesterday, August 20th, to provide more guidance for these sports (Read MHSAA Update #7). Unfortunately, for Ortonville-Brandon, we are in Region 1 and will remain status quo with current protocols for practices only until the issuance of a future Executive Order(s) permits soccer competitions and indoor school facilities to open.
In addition, beginning Monday August 24th, high school football teams are allowed 16 voluntary coach-player contact days (with more than 4 players) with helmets only until October 31st. No competition or practice with students from other schools is allowed on any of the 16 voluntary coach-player contact days; this allowance is for practice sessions on-site at school facilities if the school permits with all stated safety protocols being followed. The guidelines from the Acclimatization Week Aug 10-16 shall be followed on all coach-player contact days used with all activity taking place outdoors. This is for high school football teams only. The MHSAA will provide more guidance for middle school football out-of-season contact in the weeks ahead.
Also, starting September 8th, all spring sports are allowed 16 voluntary, out-of-season coach-player contact days (more than 4 players) until October 31st. No competition or practice with students from other schools is allowed on any of the 16 voluntary coach-player contact days; this allowance is for practice sessions on-site at school facilities if the school permits with all stated safety protocols being followed. Non sport-specific conditioning continues to be permitted with all published safety protocols. Guidance for spring sport contact days will be available on each sport’s home page at MHSAA.com by September 1.
Middle School Sports:
On Monday August 24th, boys & girls cross country (6th, 7th and 8th grade) and Girls Basketball (7th-8th) will begin practices outdoors. Please go to https://brandonblackhawks.org/fall-sports/ for start times and locations. Remember, 7th-8th Football and Sideline Cheer are postponed until Spring of 2021.
This has been a hot topic and at this point we are still waiting for further guidance from the Governor’s office in regards to spectator limits. Under the current Executive Order we have questions as to whether or not the participants are included in our spectator limitations for outdoor (and indoor) gatherings. If spectators are permitted at our events this fall, the use of face covering will be required for all those who attend. If spectators are not allowed, we are currently working with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the MHSAA to find ways to live stream our contests. In preparations for this possibility, Brandon High School purchased and installed two Pixellot camera systems, one in the main gym and the other at the football stadium. We will continue to work on ways to be able to live stream events from the soccer field, pool and middle school gym. We appreciate your understanding with this and will provide more information as it becomes available.
With the constant changing and fluidity of this COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to stay up to date with contest schedules is by using the Activity Scheduler app on your smartphone or device. This is a live up to the minute scheduling app that instantly makes changes as they occur in our office. The app is free on IOS and Android devices. The logo for the app is located below. Please check your team’s schedule daily for any changes.
Participation fees –
At this time we are only collecting participation fees for the sports that have started competitions, which include Girls Golf, Boys Tennis and Boys & Girls Cross Country. Our participation fees remain the same, $200 for high school and $125 for middle school families. You can pay fees in the following options:
- Use a credit/debit card and pay online. Go to www.brandonblackhawks.org and scroll down to Latest News to click on Pay for Athletic Participation fees. Follow the directions to make your payment.
- Pay with a Check (payable to: Brandon Schools) or Cash at BHS Athletic Office. The current office hours are M-F 8:00am-4:00pm.
- If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, or would like to set up a payment plan, please contact the athletic office 248-627-1827 or email email@example.com
We do anticipate boys soccer, girls swim/dive, and volleyball, along with MS Cross Country and Girls Basketball to be played this fall. You can submit payment now or wait for official competition start dates to be released.
The one thing we have learned during this whole pandemic is that we are in a very fluid situation and that we must adapt to the information we are provided at any given time. Additionally, we are doing everything we can to stay up to date and keep everyone informed with the newest information and guidance from the Governor, the MHSAA, the Oakland County Health Division and Brandon Schools Central Office staff. The safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, and community is still our top priority! We will continue to provide quality opportunities for all while doing so in a safe environment. In the meantime, if you would look at some guidance provided to us from the MHSAA on sport specific Return to Play regulations, please visit the sports pages on the MHSAA website at www.mhsaa.com/sports.
We appreciate, and thank you, for your patience and continued support during these unprecedented times! As always, if you have additional questions or concerns please contact the athletic office, 248-627-1827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely Yours in Educational Athletics,
Chris Deines, RAA
Brandon Athletic Director