With Wednesday's Executive Order 20-103 by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, the Minnesota State High School League will begin in-person practice for winter sports and activities on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
Gymnastics, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys hockey, wrestling, boys swimming and diving, girls and boys Nordic skiing, and girls and boys Alpine skiing may begin in-person practice.
The dance season will also resume in-person practice sessions, while Adapted Floor Hockey may begin its eight-week training season.
Member schools have the option to begin in-person participation at a later date if it best aligns with their district’s COVID-19 response plan, the MSHSL release said.
"While we recognize that our students, coaches and families are anxious to return to activities and athletics, the Jan. 4, 2021, date aligns well with many member schools’ calendars as they return from extended breaks," said League Executive Director Erich Martens. "This opportunity to participate in athletics and activities also comes with great responsibility. It is critical that all students, coaches, directors, and officials maintain the highest standard of health and safety, both in and outside of school. Everyone must actively share the responsibility of reducing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping themselves and others safe and healthy."
The Minnesota State High School League will continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health and the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to review and update the Sports and Activities Guidance and Information that will further clarify, reinforce and implement the commitment to providing the safest environment for all involved.
"The League appreciates the hard work of Gov. Walz and state departments in recognizing the significance and importance of these activities and athletics for our students," Martens said. "Through participation in League activities and athletics, our students have enhanced physical and mental health and well-being. And, when they participate under the leadership and mentorship of League-trained and certified coaches and directors, implementing League provided protocols and guidance, they can enjoy the safest possible experiences."
The Executive Order also includes youth sports. Practices may begin again Jan. 4, 2021. Games and tournaments, though, remain on hold until further directive.
Organized sport activity will no longer be directly tied to county case data or school learning model, the Order said.
Additional guidance regarding the resumption of practices will be forthcoming.