MSHSL votes on winter sports season that consists of a 30% reduction in games, meets

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KSTP’s Eric Chaloux reports the MSHSL has decided to give the green light to winter sports, just with different season start dates and lengths.

Chaloux reports the MSHSL voted on a season for boys and girls hockey that includes an 18-game regular-season schedule, rather than the typical 25 games.

Additionally, Chaloux reports the MSHSL has voted on a season for boys and girls basketball that includes an 18-game regular-season schedule, instead of the typical 26 games.

Also, under current COVID-19 guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Education, no spectators will be allowed at indoor events in school facilities. However, a limit of 250 fans will be allowed at outdoor facilities.

"This group is working as hard as it can for every student to have a chance to participate in that particular activity or athletic opportunity that’s their passion, and trying to do that in the safest possible way," said MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. "People want answers yesterday, for something that’s going to happen 3 months out and that’s really challenging to do."

Start dates for sports practices are:

  • Nov. 9: Dance
  • Nov. 23: Boy’s hockey, adapted floor hockey, boy’s basketball
  • Nov. 30: Alpine and nordic skiing, wrestling, boy’s swim and dive and girl’s hockey
  • Dec. 7: Gymnastics and girl’s basketball

The MSHSL has not yet discussed state tournaments, specifically, for winter sports.

Meanwhile, the MSHSL has voted against holding fall post-section play, meaning fall sports will conclude with section championships.

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An earlier version of this report appears below. Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and for updates.

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) will be discussing winter sports Thursday as athletes, parents and school district officials wait to see if there will be a season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MSHSL will also discuss the issue of playoffs for sports the league has already allowed, including football and volleyball.

Official team practices to begin after MSHSL approves fall season for football, volleyball

Both football and volleyball seasons have officially begun and now winter sports teams, including hockey, are hoping they will get the green light to play.

Coaches have pitched two different proposals to the league.

The first option is an almost full season against 12 opponents from anywhere in Minnesota, but athletes would play the same team twice in one week. The goal is to limit exposure if there is an outbreak and post-season play.

The second option has more COVID-19 safety measures, as well as a shorter season with only one game per week at first, regional play, and the March state tournament.

"If we are being selfish in hockey, football is a contact sport; the other is an indoor sport," Jon Ammerman, with Minnesota Hockey, said. "So if they are looking from the health side of things, we think that is promising too."

The president of the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association said they are willing to be flexible.

In terms of any kind of post-season for sports, there are still a lot of factors the MSHSL must consider, including whether there will be playoffs, regional, or state championships.