With much discussion over the last several years about realignment, the 2019 campaign will be played with a new Association structure in place. With the growth of the sport in the state a third division has been formed to encourage play and growth for new programs.
Division 2 was realigned to capture the majority of teams within the state with competitive balance at the forefront of the Division. Finally, Division 1 will remain the most competitive Division in the State and has been trimmed to the top 25% of Michigan teams (as determined by the prior season standings), a move that is directed at maintaining the high level of competition among the state’s best teams.
The entire realignment was driven to create flexibility in scheduling and to encourage the growth of the sport in well established leagues and conferences that exist in other sports. After the move by the Michigan High School Field Hockey Association (MHSFHA) the SEC (Southestern Conference) moved to sponsor field hockey. Field Hockey is also sponsored by the Catholic League.
The 2019 (MHSFHA) season kicked off on August 21st with 14 games across Michigan. The 2019 Division 1 State Champions, Ann Arbor Huron High School, kicked off the 2019 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea High School. Saturday August 24th saw the Division 2 State Champions Grand Rapids Forest Hills take to the field against a talented Marian High School team and drop the decision 7-1. Forest Hills will have the toughest battle of any Division 2 Champion in the history of the MHSFHA as the realignment placed them into Division 1 but also trimmed the Division.
Highlighted action among the week’s 55 games includes the first ever games for Plymouth-Canton on Monday, August 26 (home v. Clarkston at 4:30PM) and for Bloomfield Hills on Thursday, August 29th (home v Dearborn Edsel Ford at 7:00 PM). Ann Arbor Pioneer will kick-off its Division 1 action on Monday as well with a visit to Novi High School, this game is expected to be up tempo and hard fought.
Finally on Wednesday, August 28th look for the rivalry match-up between Farmington and Mercy to be a great game. For all the league action visit www.mhsfieldhockey.com and be sure to follow us on twitter and instagram @MHSFHA.