The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors, at its meeting on Aug. 4, approved moving forward as scheduled with four Fall activities. Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Boys and Girls Soccer and Girls Swimming and Diving beginning on Aug. 17 with limitations. The Board of Directors also approved moving Football and Volleyball to a modified spring season.
In approving the changes, the Board of Directors used information and frameworks provided by the Return to Participation Task Force in an earlier meeting. These frameworks were grounded in the following guiding principles:
“Our Board of Directors recognizes the importance of the League’s activities in supporting the mental and physical well-being of our students and worked very hard to provide some level of participation in all activities. In addition, they recognize their responsibility in focusing on the health and safety of all who participate in or support these opportunities.”
Erich Martens, MSHSL Executive Director.
The decisions to provide seasons for Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Boys and Girls Soccer and Girls Swimming and Diving beginning on Aug. 17 and move competition in Football and Girls Volleyball to a spring season were made based on:
“We had very difficult, weighty decisions today in trying to balance the benefits of students across our state participating in activities with the risks involved due to the COVID-19 virus, I am very appreciative of the work of our Return to Participation Task Force and deep, thoughtful and intentional discussion of the board weighing the benefits of participation versus the inherent risk, and how that risk can be managed.”
Board President Blaine Novak of New York Mills
In recognizing the risks associated with both fine arts and athletic opportunities as well as the benefits that participation in these same activities provides, the board approved the following for fall sports at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, with these requirements as a minimum:
In addition to the information provided here, the MSHSL will provide sport specific guidance for each fall sport that will further identify any modifications and recommendations for both practice and competition in each sport.
Return to Participation for Adapted Soccer will be addressed through collaborative planning with the Minnesota Adapted Athletics Association and the MSHSL. Additionally, Return to Participation for all MSHSL Category II activities will be determined through activity specific planning and will be in alignment with the Return to Learning Plan provided by MDE.
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