Only select people will be allowed to attend the high school state tournaments in Minnesota beginning Friday. The decision to limit attendance was made Thursday by the Minnesota State High School League in an effort to curb any potential spread of the novel coronavirus.
The decision will immediately impact the girls' basketball tournament semifinals and finals this Friday and Saturday, along with the adapted floor hockey tournament and all section championship games in boys' basketball scheduled for Friday.
"As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, plans for events held after this weekend are still being developed and will be communicated at a later date," the MSHSL said in a release.
At this point, there are no plans to cancel state tournament and section championship games, but all consolation and third-place games for girls' basketball and adapted floor hockey have been canceled.
The only people allowed access to the games (beginning Friday) are:
- Event staff
- TV network partners
- Credentialed media
- Small number of school-approved spectators for each team
Anyone who doesn't feel well, including players and coaches, is advised to stay home.
All "school-approved" spectators will be forced show identification and buy a ticket to enter a venue hosting a game. It's unclear how many fans each school is allowed to approve.
“While the changes in our tournaments are unfortunate, we recognize that a collective community response is critical to supporting the health of our communities and mitigating the spread of COVID-19," said MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. "The MSHSL intends to do everything possible to allow participating students who have earned the opportunity to compete in these special tournaments to do so."
The boys' basketball state tournament is scheduled for next Wednesday-Saturday.