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Virus, compressed season put stress on Michigan referees

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Basketball is returning to Michigan gyms after a coronavirus timeout. But high schools are anticipating a shortage of men and women who blow the whistle.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association says registration of referees is down 25% from a year ago. The risk of COVID-19 is seen as a “contributing factor.”

High school basketball typically starts in December, but the state delayed it because of the coronavirus. The regular season will last six weeks followed by the state tournament.

Middle school coaches are being encouraged to register as officials.

Some high schools will likely schedule two games a day, which would allow refs to work both games.

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