MSHSL Announces Return to High School Sports Plan
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) announced their plan for high school students to be able to participate in sports this fall. It is interesting to note when speaking with school superintendents in the area they say this has been the most asked question.
Above the question will students be experiencing in-classroom or building learning is will kids get to participate in co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?
The MSHSL Board of Directors voted today to move football and volleyball to the mid-March through mid-May time frame while adopting a four season Minnesota high school sports calendar.
I don't envy these people for the situation they are in but I still believe fall would be perfect for baseball and softball. In the spring or even summer they will be competing for fields. Especially smaller towns who have town ball sharing a field with the baseball team or summer softball leagues without multiple fields.
Another reason to move those sports to the fall. The weather is also frankly better in fall than spring for baseball and softball. There can be some brutally cold days in April. Although there was talk about moving those sports to Mid-May through July. Faribault High School Head Baseball Coach Charlie Lechtenberg says he'd like that to be a "permanent move. More games, more at bats, more innings pitched in much better weather."
Still starting August 17th are Girls and Boys Cross Country, Girls Tennis, Girls and Boys Soccer and Girls Swimming and Diving.
Baseball and Softball players will be allowed to practice in the fall. So will Football and Volleyball athletes but those details are still being worked out.
Football and Volleyball will have no scrimmages, shorter season, postseason plans are still being determined. The reason to shorten the season is to limit exposure to COVID-19.
In Cross Country events will be limited to a maximum of 3 teams so the Faribault Invite will not happen where many of the top teams in the state come to Faribault to participate in what is a terrific meet for fans to watch.
Swimming and Diving, Tennis are not allowed to participate in anything but dual competition. It appears that means no conference tournaments.
These teams in the fall are also limited to a maximum of two events a week.
Soccer will have a 20% reduction in weeks, 30% reduction in competitions with no scrimmages.
No word on winter or fall sports although there was the mention of the four seasons meaning traditional spring sports would be moved into the summer months taking place from mid-May through July. At least that was mentioned by John Millea in his motion by motion of today's meeting.
I have suggested for weeks Softball and Baseball be moved to the fall. It's basically a physically distanced sport and Amateur Baseball in Minnesota has proven it can be played without massive COVID-19 cases.
Now kids are going to have to make a choice because I can't imagine playing football and baseball back to back or volleyball and softball back to back.
Homecoming will definitely look different. Will schools move it to spring to coincide with football or have their royalty crowned as usual in the fall without the traditional introduction at a football game because of the crowd size.
Obviously if we have a vaccine that works then crowds for football and volleyball or any other sport for that matter won't be an issue.
There was no discussion about that according to Millea. Today's meeting was to decide what would happen with fall sports. Although there was the talk about four seasons (not the pop group but sports seasons).
The sooner the decision is made about the winter and spring sports the better for the athletes and coaches. You could have a without vaccine plan and with vaccine plan provided.