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High school league plans for restart of winter sports


December 11, 2020

The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors approved a flexible plan last week for the restart of winter activities — once clearance is provided by state leaders.

In preparation for the lifting of the governor’s order pausing all youth sports and activities through Dec. 18 — but knowing it could be extended past that date — an MSHSL task force presented a comprehensive plan that included three models that may be modified to fit the timing of the expiration of the executive order.

“With the dynamic nature of Covid-19, flexibility is going to be critical for our programs,” said Erich Martens, MSHSL executive director. “We need to remain flexible in the start of seasons and in carrying them to conclusion.”

Should league athletics be able to restart practice on Dec. 21, competitions could take place beginning on or after Jan. 4.

“We know that the state and our schools are facing extremely high case counts and that adjustments in the models may need to take place, and if so, we are ready to make those adjustments in our calendar,” Martens said. “Should the winter season restart get pushed later, we may see shorter seasons and fewer games.”

Moderate adjustments in the winter season are accounted for and are likely to result in minimal disruption to the spring sports seasons. Included in the scheduling models are weeks designated for section play and a potential state tournament. No state tournaments were held for the fall seasons.

All models presented by the task force were constructed with a focus on providing an experience in every MSHSL activity and sport. In addition, health and safety, recommendations from state organizations and agencies, and the unique aspects of each sport were a part of the planning.

The models include a projected view of spring activities, maintaining a traditional number of spring season contests and an end date of no later than June 19.


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