Earlier today, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-103 which extended and modified Executive Order 20-99. Within this order, the governor established Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, as the date for the return of in-person high school and youth sports. Sports programs will initially be limited to practice only with the start date for competition to be determined later.
At its Dec. 4, 2020, meeting, the Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors approved a flexible model to begin winter sports when permitted by the State of Minnesota. In alignment with the Executive Order, and in using the approved model created by the Return to Participation Task Force, Minnesota State High School League winter seasons will begin as follows:
Gymnastics, Girls and Boys Basketball, Girls and Boys Hockey, Wrestling, Boys Swimming and Diving, Girls and Boys Nordic Skiing and Girls and Boys Alpine Skiing may begin in-person practice on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
The Dance season may resume in-person practice on Jan. 4, 2021.
Adapted Floor Hockey may begin its training season on Jan. 4, 2021.
MSHSL Member schools may choose to begin practice on or after Jan. 4, 2021.
The Jan. 4, 2021, start date aligns with many of our member schools’ calendars as they return from extended breaks. Additionally, the next two weeks allow schools to prepare their facilities and staffing for the Jan. 4, 2021, start date.
The opportunity to participate in sports and activities also comes with great responsibility. It is critical that all students, coaches, directors and officials maintain the highest standards of health and safety both in and outside of school. Everyone must actively share the responsibility of reducing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping themselves and others safe and healthy.
The League will continue its work with the Minnesota Department of Health and the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee in the upcoming days to review and update the Sports and Activities Guidance and Information which will further clarify, reinforce and implement a commitment to providing a safe environment for all involved.
The Minnesota State High School League appreciates the work of Governor Walz and State Departments in recognizing the significance and importance of these activities and athletics for our students. Participation in League activities and athletics provides our students with valuable mental and physical health benefits. And, when they participate under the leadership and mentorship of League-trained and certified coaches and directors, implementing League provided protocols and guidance, they can enjoy the safest possible experiences.
It is critical that all League participants abide by provided guidance and protocols. Our sports and activities are education-based and are directly linked to the educational experience of all students. Safe and responsible programs will increase the likelihood that all students will be able to return to in-person learning which is the ultimate goal for our member schools.
Additional information will be shared at the LEAD Network on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Activities Directors can register for LEAD through the LEAD link on their AD Dashboard.