The Minnesota State High School League met this morning and the main topic discussed was a return to participation plan for fall sports. 

Boys and Girls Soccer will be held in the fall, while Football and Volleyball has been moved to the spring (March 15 to May 15).  Girls Tennis, Girls Swimming, and Cross Country have been approved by a 17-1 vote.
If schools conduct distance learning, they wouldn’t be able to compete until they move to hybrid or in-person schooling.  The sports would be limited to one to two events per week.  Scrimmages won’t be allowed and competition would be limited to local/regional events to limit travel for the teams. 

The MSHSL will go with a “four-season” plan for the 2020-21 school year.  Fall and winter as scheduled, spring (Volleyball and football) from mid-March to mid-May, and “summer” (original spring sports) from May until late June/early July. The four seasons are listed below – 

Fall Sports season – (Starting August 17) –  Boys and girls soccer, girls tennis, girls swimming, cross country
Winter sports (start dates and seasons to be determined) – Boys and girls basketball, boys and girls hockey, wrestling, dance
4th season (Starting date to be determined, but mid-March to mid-May is likely) – Football and Volleyball
Spring sports (starting early May and running until late June/early July) – Baseball, softball, boys and girls track, boys tennis, boys and girls golf.

Information on team sports – 

FOOTBALL – The vote to have football in the fall failed 12-6.
The vote to have football in the spring passed 13-5.  The vote will move to the spring with hopes of more fans in the stands and a more authentic playoff experience.  The season would be a 6 game regular season with playoffs spanning 12 weeks (Season would start March 15.  Play local opponents.

VOLLEYBALL – A vote to move the season to the spring failed with an even tie of 9-9.
A second motion was made to keep Volleyball in the fall and that failed 10-8.
A motion to reconsider Volleyball in the spring was made and passed 11-7.
A vote to make the original motion to hold Volleyball in the spring passed 11-7.
Volleyball will be moved to the spring.  Reduction of contests by 30 percent and the length of the season by 20 percent. Matches would be local/regional opponents only.  Shifting Volleyball to the spring to give the option of a traditional state tournament and possibly have fans in the stands.  The season is proposed to run March 15 to May 15.

BOYS AND GIRLS SOCCER – August 17 practice start date with reduction of contests by 30 percent and the length of the season by 20 percent.  Keep games local/within the conference.  No scrimmages would be allowed.  Limit of one to two games allowed per week.  No captains practice.  Section and state tournaments are TBD.  The motion passed 18-0.

GIRLS TENNIS – Practice would start August 17. Reduce matches by 30 percent and the length of the season by 20 percent.  No events larger than a triangular will be allowed.  Singles and doubles matches would be played at all levels (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Junior High). Section and state tournaments are TBD. No scrimmages allowed. No captains practice.

GIRLS SWIMMING – Practice would start August 17.  Any indoor sport held in the spring will not allow spectators at this point.  Competitions will be limited to two teams.  No big invites or true team competitions.  Contests are local or within the conference only.  Reduce meets by 30 percent and the length of the season by 20 percent.  Section and state tournaments are TBD. No captains practice.

CROSS COUNTRY – Practice would start August 17.  Reduce contests by 30 percent and the length of the season by 20 percent.  No more than two or three teams on the course at a time.  Complications at the starting line and finish line were discussed and safe ways to conduct the start of the race are being discussed.  Allow Varsity, Junior Varsity, C Squad, and Junior High.  Section and state tournaments are TBD. No captains practice.

Background information
In July a task force was created to look at the best way to offer activities this fall.  They focused on sport-specific areas and reviewed other state organizations and their guidelines.  The task force used the State of Minnesota’s return to learn model as a guide.

Other notes
Volleyball and Football teams will be able to practice in the fall.  How many times and when will be decided by the eligibility committee at a later date.  When it is announced we will let you know.

State tournaments will be offered online only in an effort to save money.  It will save the MSHSL an estimated $125,000 to $175,000 a year.