The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Board of Directors heard proposals Thursday that would change the state wrestling tournament, allow for early implementation of the shot clock in basketball, and add a new sport.

An advisory proposal would adjust the schedule for the state wrestling tournament to allow for the expansion of girls' wrestling. A press release from the MSHSL states, "This proposal would add an extra half day beginning with a session on Wednesday afternoon to provide for: room for growth of number of qualifiers in the girls' division, extend the individual competition from two days to three days."

Girls' wrestling debuted in 2022. Owatonna's Rian Grunwald was among the historic first-year state champions. Her teammate Isabelle Townley and NRHEG's Annabelle Petsinger also placed.

The switch would allow all wrestlers the chance at wrestle-backs. The current format leads to the elimination of half of the wrestlers who lose their first-round match. The suggested change would also shift the opening of the team competition to Wednesday. Finals, third and fifth place matches would still be held on Thursday.

The Barn Wiliams Arena on the U of M Campus. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
The Barn Wiliams Arena on the U of M Campus. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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The proposal from the basketball advisory committee would allow for an early start to the use of the shot clock, which is set to debut for the 2023-24 season. The news release indicates, "This proposal provides the opportunity for conference to make the decision to allow the use of the 35-second shot clock in conference contests if all schools have the capacity to employ a shot clock."

The advisory board also is pining for a change in the section tournament format for Class AAAA, "The proposal would establish a modified version of the current section champions advancing to the state tournaments. The final 16 teams in Class AAAA would have the top eight identified by coaches' seeding process," the release says.

"These eight teams would be assigned to a region by geography and an MSHSL committee would also place the remaining eight teams using geography among other factors to determine section pairings."

At its May 10 meeting, the board of directors will consider the addition of boys' volleyball to the list of sanctioned sports. Over 50 schools in Minnesota already offer the sport according to the boys' volleyball association. Austin, Kasson-Mantorville and Rochester Mayo support teams. Many Twin Cities schools offer boys volleyball including Lakeville North and South and Farmington from Section 1.

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