League winter sports to begin in-person practice on Jan. 4, 2021

In alignment with Executive Order 20-103 announced December 16 by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the Minnesota State High School League will begin in-person practice for winter sports and activities on Mon., Jan. 4, 2021.

Thirteen days ago, the League’s Board of Directors approved a flexible scheduling model, presented by the Return to Participation Task Force, which will adapt to the new Executive Order. The new mandate modifies and is an extension of Executive Order 20-99 that went into effect on Nov. 20 and was set to expire Dec. 18. The first date of competition under the new directive has not yet been determined.

Member schools have the option to begin in-person participation at a later date if it best aligns with their district’s COVID-19 response plan.

On Jan. 4:

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

The Dance season may resume in-person practice sessions

Adapted Floor Hockey may begin its training season

“While we recognize that our students, coaches and families are anxious to return to activities and athletics, the Jan. 4, 2021, date aligns well with many member schools’ calendars as they return from extended breaks,” said League Executive Director Erich Martens. “This opportunity to participate in athletics and activities also comes with great responsibility. It is critical that all students, coaches, directors and officials maintain the highest standard 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 Minnesota State High School League will continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health and the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to review and update the Sports and Activities Guidance and Information that will further clarify, reinforce and implement the commitment to providing the safest environment for all involved.

“The League appreciates the hard work of Governor Walz and state departments in recognizing the significance and importance of these activities and athletics for our students,” Martens said. “Through participation in League activities and athletics, our students have enhanced physical and mental health and well-being. 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.”

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