sports

New Michigan High School Fall Rule Changes

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Aug. 3 – A pair of football rules changes taking effect this season builds on continuing work to minimize health risks in all interscholastic sports as 2017-18 fall practices begin next week for member schools of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).

The first major rule change is to the allowable level of contact on a blindside block in football which is aimed at increasing player safety. A blindside block involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration (for example, while following a ball carrier on a kickoff return), is vulnerable to injury by a block coming from outside his field of vision. Blindside blocks now must be initiated with open hands only; blindside contact that is forceful and initiated with other parts of the body outside of the free blocking zone will be penalized as excessive and unnecessary.

In addition to redefining the blindside block, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) sought to also minimize risk by eliminating the pop-up kick – that is, any free kick during which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, causing it to bounce only once and into the air similar to the flight of a ball kicked directly off the tee. Kicks off a tee that bounce multiple times and then pop into the air remain allowed.

A few other notable rules changes in football will be apparent this fall:

  • A defensive player will be called for encroachment for striking the offensive snapper’s hand or arm, or the ball, prior to the snapper releasing the ball to begin a play.
  • Non-contact face guarding is no longer considered pass interference.
  • A team accepting a penalty during the final two minutes of either half now will have the option of re-starting the clock at the snap of the ball rather than the referee’s ready-for-play signal.

While most fall sports face at least minor rules changes this season, a few more of the most noticeable adjustments will come in boys soccer and girls swimming & diving.

  • In boys soccer, overtime periods and shootouts during the regular season have been eliminated. Leagues and conferences are allowed an overtime option for their end-of-season bracketed tournaments, but overtime in those cases must not exceed two 10-minute periods plus a shootout. Multi-team regular-season tournaments also may receive waivers to employ a shootout if it is used to determine the winner of a game.
  • Also in soccer, kickoffs may now travel in any direction from the center of the field. Previously, kickoffs at the high school level were required to move forward down the field of play.
  • In girls swimming & diving, a diver will need only four regular-season wins (instead of the previous five) to qualify for the Regional Diving Qualification Meet. A diver also may qualify if she places ahead of all divers from opposing schools in varsity competition in at least four meets, even if she does not finish ahead of her teammates.
  • Also in swimming & diving, to promote safer take-offs during relays, the second, third and fourth swimmers must have at least one foot in contact with the starting platform in front of the starting block wedge during take-off. Those second, third and fourths swimmers may not take off with both feet on top of the starting block wedge.
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sports

Chelsea Swimming’s Kurt Jolly Announces College Commitment

 

K. Jolly

Chelsea’s Kurt Jolly signs on the dotted line to swim at Albion

Record-setting Chelsea swimmer Kurt Jolly announced his commitment on Thursday to continue his fantastic career at Albion College. Jolly finished his swimming career at Chelsea in excellent fashion, etching his name in the record books for the Bulldogs.

Jolly, the son of Dave and Joni Jolly,  has been swimming competitively since he was 10 years old. His favorite strokes are the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke because those are the first events he ever placed in at states.

Jolly, who will major in Biology or Pre-Med,  chose the Britons of Albion over several other colleges including Calvin, Grand Valley, and Kenyon. Albion made it clear and obvious from the get-go they really wanted him there. It should be a smooth transition for him because he knows a lot of other guys from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) where he has competed so he will have many peers on his new team. Also, Albion is ranked twelfth in the nation so he will be competing on a great team.

Jolly’s dad David, the head coach of Chelsea swim for the last 29 years,  has been his son’s coach for many years. “It’s going to be a big transition for me,” the younger Jolly stated. “It will be a big change competing for a different coach. I know I’ll adjust but I think I’m going to miss it. It will be different though not being coached at home.”

“It has been very unique coaching my son for the last 8 years.” Head Coach Jolly said. “It’s a very tough situation to be in, coaching your own child. Many people wouldn’t understand. But it has been great the last 8 years watching my son go from a boy and transforming into a young man in many ways. Coaching my son has been one of the greatest honors in my life and I’m looking forward to the fun of watching him compete, not as a coach, but as a father.”

“I really can’t express enough how grateful I am for all the encouragement from the Chelsea community and the school,” Kurt Jolly said.  “I am so thankful for all my friends, family, teachers, anyone that has helped me grow and encouraged me in my swimming career. I’m really excited for this next phase in my life.”

 

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Kurt with his dad David Jolly, as they watch the Chelsea girls water polo team who his Junior sister Melissa plays on. 

 

 

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Chelsea, City Of Champions

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Chelsea’s Division 1 Regular Season championship Field Hockey Team 

Chelsea Michigan is a city of about 5,000 residents about 15 miles to the west of Ann Arbor conveniently located off of Interstate 94. It is home to eclectic shops, various ranges of dining from casual to upscale, and is home to the famous Purple Rose theater. It is also home to the Chelsea High School Bulldogs which produces scholar students and athletes.

This past year Chelsea had 15 sports teams from their school achieve championship status in conference, district, or regional play. And on December 18th they were all honored in a special ceremony at the halftime of the basketball games.  Each team was brought out individually and celebrated in front of a packed gym.

Out of an enrollment of 850 students 620 students play at least one sport. Having 15 champions cannot be confirmed as a record but athletic director Brad Bush says “it could be.” Last year Chelsea had 12 teams honored.  The success of the athletes is matched by that in the classroom as many teams celebrated GPA achievements as well.

Winter Champions, 2014-15

Girls Basketball: SEC and District, school record 21 wins, second consecutive conference title, third consecutive district championship.

Boys Swimming: SEC and state runner-up, 18-2, second straight conference title, broke five varsity records, 12 All-State awards, qualified for All-America in five events.

Wrestling: District champion, 23-14, won Flint Beecher, Grass Lake and Chelsea invitationals and finished second at the South Lyon Invite.

Hockey: SEC champion, 16-8-2, champions for fourth straight year for seniors and eighth year overall. Had three seniors (the least ever) and 10 freshman and sophomores (most ever).

Spring 2015 Champions:

Boys Golf: SEC and regional champions, undefeated in White Division matches, won year-end White Division Conference tournament by 22 shots, first regional title for golf team in more than 30 years, finished 11th at state, best in 10 years.

Softball: SEC and district champions, finished 36-4, second straight SEC White title

Girls Tennis: SEC champions, won the league for the highest finish in the program’s history.

Boys Track: Regional champions, third straight regional title, several individual regional champions: Mike Smith, discus; Noah Van Reesema, 300 hurdles; Bailey Edwards, 100 and 200 meters; 4×200 and 4×100 meter relays, Edwards, Buckley, Skogheim, Nelson and McDowell.

Lacrosse: SEC Champions, first conference title in history, finished 9-7, including OT wins over Dexter and Tecumseh, four players named to 1st Team All-Conference and 2 honorable mentions, five players received academic award.

Fall 2015 Champions:

Football: District, regional champions, state runner-up, first team to make it to state championship at Ford Field, finished 12-2, school record 12 wins, Team Academic All-State Highest GPA in state at Division 3.

Volleyball: SEC Champions, SEC White Championship, undefeated in conference play, finished 41-13-4, won Skyline and Chelsea invitationals, MIVCA Team Academic All State, five seniors earned MIVCA individual Academic All-State Awards

Girls Cross Country: SEC and regional Champions, SEC White Championship, finished first in 10 of 13 meets, six All-League Runners, regional champions for third straight year, finished 15th at state meet.

Boys Soccer: SEC Champions, first SEC White Championship in 10 years, scored 71 goals for school record, allowed 18 goals in 22 games.

Boys Tennis: SEC Champions, sixth straight league title, qualified for state tournament for eighth straight year, scored 32 of 32 points at conference tournament, earning all 12 members all-SEC honors, finished 15-3-1.

Field Hockey: Division 1 regular season champions, state runner-up, won Division 1 regular season title (11-1-1), 10 shutouts, scored 33 goals, while allowing only 6, runner-up at state tournament, several players named to Division 1 All-State teams, more than any other school. Maggie Cole earned spot on Midwest All Region Team for third year.

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