MWPA Spring 2021 Updates
As we approach the end of 2020, the board has convened several times since July in order to prepare for the upcoming Spring 2021 Season. Our current plans below reflect the results of our most recent meeting (Monday, Dec. 21) with the MHSAA's current status in mind.
The Michigan Water Polo Association is planning for a season start on March 15, 2021. Given the current status of the MHSAA's Winter Sports and restrictions in our state, we ask all to spend time on our website for updates. See Rebecca Godek's "Action Needed," below for more information.
Though we of course are not part of the MHSAA we will be following their lead with all decision making, so this could be a waiting game for information. Our start date will reflect the MHSAA's start date for Spring Sports.
The MWPA will continue to build alternative plans should our season become further contracted.
We are planning and scheduling for a "regular" season, but working backwards with our planning since the proposed start date may change based on information from the MHSAA.
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
Weekends for the state tournament set at 6/5 weekend for girls, and 6/12 weekend for boys. For all tournaments (post season and regular) we are formatting possible four-team only scenarios in case the four-team rule remains in place (as of now, no more than four teams are allowed to participate in a given event at the same site. JV and V are considered two separate teams). If that rule is no longer in place, we will have the same formatting as we have had in the past.
Due to the time crunch, regionals formatted a little differently this year. Regional schedules will have boys playing Wednesday 5/19 and Friday 5/21 and Girls will play Thursday 5/20 and Saturday 5/22.
Sticking with the same format as regionals, boys districts will be played Wednesday 5/12 and Friday 5/14 and girls will be played Thursday 5/13 and Saturday 5/15
SCHEDULING - REGULAR SEASON
Having both genders competing at the same time puts more stress on officials and sites for events. The MWPA will be scheduling district seeding games again, but we will be doing this in the form of two mini-tournaments utilizing weekends.
Planning for the four-team per site maximum rule, every district will have two district seeding tournaments where the team will play two or three other teams in their district. The outcome of games impacts team ranking going into post season.
If a team did not get to play each team in their district between those two weekends, they will be scheduled with the appropriate team on a weekday. Tournaments will alternate weekends boys/girls/boys/girls so any coaches working with both programs will not be in limbo with that.
Organizing things this way makes the weekdays much less chaotic for everyone with scheduling pool time for games/practices between schools programs, makes it easier for officials to knock out more games in a shorter time, and given the fact that there will likely be no "regular" tournaments (usually tournaments have at least six or eight teams - this won't be possible with the four-team rule) the board believes this is the best chance the MWPA stands at meeting the obligations of a full seasons.
As for week days, teams are welcome to do their own scheduling outside of district seed games as they always have during the week, and down the road the board will share a scheduling document with coaches all so they can start preparing for that.
MWPA BOARD MEETING
We are planning on holding the spring MWPA board meeting in the days following the final State Championship of Spring, 2021. This will be held virtually. The date is to be determined following input from member schools, coaches and officials.
The typical MWPA Business Meeting also is a vehicle for postseason award voting. This season, voting for each gender will take place as usual with all-season being done electronically before the state tournament, and all-tournament taking place at that gender's tournament.
ACTION NEEDED - From MWPA President Rebecca Godek
After the holiday passes, please start talking with your Athletic Directors on what you may or may not be able to do/host...we are going to need host sites for all tournaments stated above INCLUDING STATE (at least for girls!) Ann Arbor is on the strict end of things with regards to Covid and I have already been told I can not host states as planned. Think about what you would be willing and able to host, after the new year we will be collecting info from all teams to start gathering host sites for tournaments.
The board has been and will continue to meet bi-weekly until the start of the season, and we plan on keeping you informed on all decision making and progressions in the time being. We will give these updates on our website and I will inform you all via email and slack with appropriate links so you can stay informed and share all of this information with your players and parents. Coaches, we want you to be proactive and share as much information as you can with your teams so everyone is as best prepared as possible for the upcoming season. There will be a lot going on and sure many bumps in the road but we all are going to do our best to make this season the best one possible for our athletes.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this process. Have a wonderful holiday and new year.