MSHSL

If Gov. Tim Walz gives the go-ahead to relieve Executive Order 20-99, the Minnesota State High School League is ready to un-pause sports Dec. 21 with contests beginning in early January.

At the Dec. 3 Board of Directors Meeting, Jill Johnson, athletic director at Waconia High School, chair of the Return to Participation Task Force, set out three proposed timelines for winter and spring sports.

Winter seasons would conclude during the week of March 29, 2021 with spring seasons wrapping up the week of June 14, 2021.

Johnson said the task force focused on number of contests as being primary, the length of the season being secondary. Section tournament length may be shrunk into a week or week-and-a-half. Post-season options for individuals and teams will continue to be evaluated.

The MSHSL acknowledges a need to maintain a near-normal spring sport season after schools lost the entire 2020 season. That means equal amount of competitions in just a condensed calendar. In all three models, the timeline and weeks of play remain the same for spring sports.

The MSHSL also is protecting options for postseasons that go beyond sections for both winter and spring sports.

Previous approved regular season calendar reductions by 30% along with no tournaments, jamborees or invitationals remains for winter sports. Triangulars are allowed for dance, Nordic and alpine ski, wrestling, and gymnastics.

MODEL 1 (Dec. 21, 2020)

 SportNumber of Weeks Start Date
 Adapted Floor Hockey 8 Jan. 4, 2021
 Dance 12 Dec. 21, 2021
 Boys Swim/Dive 13 Dec. 21, 2021
 Nordic Ski 13 Dec. 21, 2021
 Alpine Ski 13 Dec. 21, 2021
 Wrestling 14 Dec. 21, 2021
 Gymnastics 14 Dec. 21, 2021
 Boys Hockey 15 Dec. 21, 2021
 Girls Hockey 15 Dec. 21, 2021
 Girls Basketball 15 Dec. 21, 2021
 Boys Basketball 15 Dec. 21, 2021
 Softball 12 March 29, 2021
 Track and Field 12 March 29, 2021
 Baseball 12 March 29, 2021
 Syncho Swimming 14 March 15, 2021
 Adapted Softball 12 March 29, 2021
 Boys/Girls Golf 12 March 29, 2021
 Boys Tennis 11 March 29, 2021
 Boys/Girls Lacrosse 11 April 5, 2021
 Badminton 11 March 22, 2021
 Adapted Bowling 11

 March 8, 2021

MODEL 2 (Jan. 4, 2021)

 SportNumber of Weeks Start Date
 Adapted Floor Hockey 8 Jan. 4, 2021
 Dance 10 Jan. 4, 2021
 Boys Swim/Dive 11 Jan. 4, 2021
 Nordic Ski 11 Jan. 4, 2021
 Alpine Ski 11 Jan. 4, 2021
 Wrestling 12 Jan. 4, 2021
 Gymnastics 12 Jan. 4, 2021
 Boys Hockey 13 Jan. 4, 2021
 Girls Hockey 13 Jan. 4, 2021
 Girls Basketball 13 Jan. 4, 2021
 Boys Basketball 13 Jan. 4, 2021
 Softball 12 March 29, 2021
 Track and Field 12 March 29, 2021
 Baseball 12 March 29, 2021
 Syncho Swimming 14 March 15, 2021
 Adapted Softball 12 March 29, 2021
 Boys/Girls Golf 12 March 29, 2021
 Boys Tennis 11 March 29, 2021
 Boys/Girls Lacrosse 11 April 5, 2021
 Badminton 11 March 22, 2021
 Adapted Bowling 11 March 8, 2021

MODEL 3 (Jan. 18, 2021)

 SportNumber of Weeks Start Date
 Adapted Floor Hockey 8 Jan. 18, 2021
 Dance 8 Jan. 18, 2021
 Boys Swim/Dive 9 Jan. 18, 2021
 Nordic Ski 9 Jan. 18, 2021
 Alpine Ski 9 Jan. 18, 2021
 Wrestling 10 Jan. 18, 2021
 Gymnastics 10 Jan. 18, 2021
 Boys Hockey 11 Jan. 18, 2021
 Girls Hockey 11 Jan. 18, 2021
 Girls Basketball 11 Jan. 18, 2021
 Boys Basketball 11 Jan. 18, 2021
 Softball 12 March 29, 2021
 Track and Field 12 March 29, 2021
 Baseball 12 March 29, 2021
 Syncho Swimming 14 March 15, 2021
 Adapted Softball 12 March 29, 2021
 Boys/Girls Golf 12 March 29, 2021
 Boys Tennis 11 March 29, 2021
 Boys/Girls Lacrosse 11 April 5, 2021
 Badminton 11 March 22, 2021
 Adapted Bowling 11 March 8, 2021

The rally cry from the Return to Participation task force is "be ready, be flexible."

Troy Stein of Edina High School, who represents Region 5/6AA, believes the safest way for student-athletes to gather and practice and compete is under supervision of league's coaches.

If the MSHSL is not ready to act quickly upon being the "green light" from Walz, other entities will step in.

Asked Dec. 3 if the Governor has decided whether to extend the shutdown of high school sports beyond Dec. 18, he said it is a possibility.

"It's going to be dependent on where we're at in this virus," he said. "We are still in the heart of this pandemic."

In other news:

  • Dr. Julie Anderson is the newest MSHSL Board of Director member, Governor-appointed. Dr. Anderson is a family physician in St. Cloud. She has been involved with Project Brainsafe, a community based initiative to improve awareness and management of concussions.

  • Russ Reetz of Prior Lake High School will exit the MSHSL Board of Directors after 2 1/2 years with his job change to Eden Prairie High School in January 2021. Reetz represents schools from Region 3/4AA. Executive Director Erich Martens said the opening will be filled within the region by Christmas.

  • The MSHSL Board of Directors unanimously approved a virtual State Debate Tournament and a virtual State One Act Play Festival, following the models and guidelines being used for the section tournaments.

  • Also approved were minor adjustments for Nine-Man football classification process. District assignments will take place in the same time frame as section realignment and enrollment figures will be grades 8-11 instead of 9-12.

  • The Board of Directors approved in a roll call vote the recommendation from the Audit and Finance committee to accept a $500,000 transfer from the MSHSL Foundation and allocate the funds in the following manner: $250,000 to assist regions with financial hardship and $250,000 to reduce membership fees to Class A and Class AA schools.

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