Minnesota sports going on shutdown

Thu 11-19-2020

BROOKLYN CENTER - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Wednesday ordered a four-week shutdown of youth and high school sports that goes into effect on Saturday. Walz issued the order as part of new restrictions in reaction to an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

In accordance with the order, the Minnesota State High School League provided guidance and information to the group's 500-plus member schools.

The Executive Order will be in effect from 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Dec. 18.

In preparation for the implementation of the restrictions included in the order, section football play must be completed by the end of Friday. The volleyball regular season will also end on Friday.

In working with stakeholders including member schools, LEAD Liaisons, the Return to Participation Task Force and Region Secretaries, additional flexibility is provided in the guidance for football and volleyball to complete their competitions.

Winter sports will have the start of their seasons delayed by this order. Dance was the lone winter activity that had started and will stop in-person practice and competitions, effective late Friday.

"We recognize the recent rise in positive cases and the impacts on communities and schools," League Executive Director Erich Martens said. "Our schools have been addressing positive cases and close contacts, adjusting learning models and making difficult decisions regarding programs.

"We all know how important these programs are to students and to their mental and physical health and we all want students to participate. We believe League programs offered by our member schools provide the safest and most effective experiences and yet, at this time, we are required to take a pause. We look forward to returning to in-person participation in our winter sports and fine arts activities when these restrictions are lifted."

The MSHSL will provide additional guidance to member schools by the end the week regarding winter sports and fine arts activities. In addition, League staff will continue to work with others to study options for the remaining winter seasons as well as those scheduled to begin in the spring.