Some winter high school sports will start later than usual and all winter activities will have 30% fewer competitions. The Minnesota State High School League board of directors approved the new dates and rules at a meeting Thursday morning.
Depending on the sport, the start dates fall between Nov. 9 and Dec. 7. Here's how it shakes out.
- Nov. 9: Dance
- Nov. 23: Boys hockey, boys basketball, adapted floor hockey
- Nov. 30: Girls hockey, wrestling, alpine/nordic skiing, boys swimming/diving
- Dec. 7: Girls basketball, gymnastics
The schedule will limit the number of contests to two per for every sport, though up three games/contests can be played during the final two weeks of the season just in case COVID-19 forces rescheduling of earlier events.
Starting the seasons later than normal will help alleviate scheduling conflicts for students who participate in fall sports that started later due to COVID-19, namely football and volleyball, both of which will see the end of their seasons no later than Nov. 28.
It means that volleyball players who want to join hockey, skiing, gymnastics or girls basketball teams won't have to try and participate in both sports at once. For football players, they might be in a situation where the first week of practice is happening during the final week of the football playoffs.
Fall sports postseason plan
The plan won't feature a state tournament this year. Instead, fall sports will conclude with section playoffs. The MSHSL's John Millea said the board voted 10-8 against a proposal that would've seen section champions square off in the final week of each respective sport.
The plan for winter sports playoffs have not yet been formalized.