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UPDATE: High school football, volleyball to move to spring, MSHSL considers additional sports season

KSTP
Updated: August 04, 2020 05:11 PM
Created: August 04, 2020 08:58 AM

Tuesday, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is discussing its options for fall sports. The full MSHSL board is voting on the Return to Participation Task Force's suggestions.

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Here's a recap of the changes made:

Sports starting in August:

  • Tennis 
  • Swimming/diving
  • Cross country
  • Soccer - The soccer season is set to begin on Aug. 17, with a 20% reduction in weeks. Competitions will also be reduced by 30%, with one to two games per week for teams. 

According to the MSHSL, tennis, cross country and girl's swimming and diving will go on with a limited amount of events per team every week. 

Sports moving to spring:

  • Football - As a part of the decision, there will be fewer games and no scrimmages during the football season. 
  • Volleyball 

Here are updates regarding the decision:

12:48 p.m.

Football is moving to the spring.

KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports the move was decided by a vote of 13-5.

There will be a shorter season, fewer games, and no scrimmages. A postseason plan has yet to be determined.


12:30 p.m.

In an updated vote, a motion to shift volleyball to the March 15-May 15 timeframe has been approved.


12:04 p.m.

A motion to move volleyball to the suggested "fourth season" timeframe (March 15-May 15) received a tie vote, meaning the motion failed, KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports.

A motion to start the volleyball season on Aug. 17 also did not pass, Chaloux reports.


12 p.m.

Soccer has been approved to begin Aug. 17.

KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports the season will include fewer games—one to two games per week—as well as local matches only and no scrimmages. Post-season play has yet to be determined.


11:45 a.m.

A "fourth season" concept is up for discussion. KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports this would possibly move some teams' fall sports to March 15-May 15. Traditional spring sports teams would then play after May 15.


11 a.m.

KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports the MSHSL has voted to allow girls tennis, cross country and swimming/diving, with a shorter season and fewer games.

Tournament play remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, Chaloux reports a decision on volleyball has not yet been made.

An earlier version of this report appears below.


Tuesday, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) will be discussing its options for fall sports.

It's a decision that affects more than 240,000 high school student athletes.

Gov. Tim Walz, along with state health and education leaders, has created guidance for schools but when it comes to sports, Walz said it's not his decision to make.

If Minnesota follows Wisconsin, fall sports will take place but they will look different. For example, it may be more difficult to pull off contact-sports, like football. Not only would this affect so many student-athletes, but the MSHSL would also be facing a big deficit if some sports don't play.

Money aside, the Return to Participation Task Force says its main priority is student and staff safety. That's just one of several guiding principles the task force is using to make a decision. 

Others include making sure programs are treated equally, aligning participation with how state agencies decide how to learn this fall, and making sure the guidelines are applied consistently. 

As of now, here's what Walz is saying:

"I'm going to leave the best science, the best data that's out there, and then the high school league and those athletic directors will determine that. It is our goal again to use that best data, what we've been doing over the summer, we've been seeing sports being played, and I think (Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner) Jan (Malcolm) would tell you we have not seen a high transmission amongst those playing that, and I think that will impact their decision."

Many states are moving forward with low-risk fall sports, such as tennis.

The task force will present all options to the board Tuesday night.


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