BIG RAPIDS \u2013 Athletic directors are getting set to a new twist with the 2022-23 basketball seasons. The regular season has changed for the first time in decades from a 20-game to a 22-contest season, under a recent measure passed. The MHSAA Council in March approved a Basketball Committee proposal that will allow, beginning with the 2022-23 season, high school basketball teams to play up to 22 regular-season games at every level (varsity, junior varsity and freshman). Teams previously played a maximum of 20 games during the regular season. This change, the MHSAA said, brings MHSAA school schedules in line with what is allowed in most other Midwest states. Additionally as part of that proposal, mandatory preseason practice was reduced by one week, allowing teams to begin playing games after 14 days instead of 21.\u00a0\u00a0\u201cI think that it's a great opportunity for us to connect with other nonconference schools in the surrounding areas,\u201d Crossroads athletic director Jerry Dailey said. \u201cIt means new schools to play against and more games for the kids. \u201cI think we will get 22 games, if not really close to that number.\u201d Ryan Hansen of Reed City agrees. \u201cI'm in favor of playing a 22-game regular season,\u201d Hansen said. \u201cOften times our season consists of playing the same conference schools and not having the opportunity to play schools we wouldn't normally play. Next year we will play more non-conference games than we have ever played. I have also always wanted to host a holiday tournament. With 20 games, I was hesitant to use two of those games in order to do it. \u201cNow with two extra games, Reed City will be hosting our first annual Reed City Holiday Basketball Tournaments on December 30th and 31st for both varsity Basketball teams. \u00a0Our varsity girls team will host Holton, Ithaca, and Rudyard. \u00a0Our varsity boys team will host Buckley, Holton, and Ithaca. It will be fun for the kids to play tournament basketball in our own gym.\u201d This change, Hansen said, provides \u201cmore opportunities to play schools you wouldn't normally play, and provides tournament opportunities.\u201d On a two-week preseasons \u201cI like it for the simple fact that it could give our multi-sport athletes a extra week off,\u201d Hansen said. \u201cOften times our football players would finish their season on a Saturday and have to turn around and go to basketball practice on a Monday. Pushing the start back a week will allow the opportunity for more rest. On the other side of this, one less week of practice before our first games will put more stress on our coaches to prepare for game play.\u201d\u00a0 \u201cThe additional games will give our student-athletes more opportunities to compete,\u201d Big Rapids athletic director Dawn Thompson said. \u201cIt also aligns better with our bordering states in giving equal opportunities for college recruiting purposes.\u201d Thompson also sees some minuses. \u201cWith the additional games it will likely require us to reach out to schools farther away to complete our schedule,\u201d she said. \u201cAlso, with the official shortage, it may be difficult to fill all games. \u201cWe will do our best to fill our schedule with 22 games so our student-athletes have the same opportunities as the rest of the state. I like the shorter preseason as it will give us a better opportunity to fill the additional games. Our coaches give multiple opportunities in the off season that I believe keep us in condition and well-prepared to start the season.\u201d Athletic director Mike Fosburg of Chippewa Hills agrees. \u201cThe additional games will give our student-athletes more opportunities to compete and display their skills,\u201d he said. \u201cBut there\u2019s also official shortages, travel for away games as we may need to expand out of our \u2018normal\u2019 travel area. Also, there\u2019s burnout due to having to get games in when we already face obstacles in the winter.\u201d\u00a0Fosburg said Chippewa Hills has 22 games scheduled for both boys and girls varsity teams.\u00a0 On a shorter preseason, \u201cI like it as it allows our kids to recharge the batteries and be students until they need to be in the gym full time after their fall seasons,\u201d Fosburg said.