Sports are coming back on Jan. 4 as per Governor TimWalz’s most recent executive order. Teams will be able to meet for practice, and possibly attend games beginning Jan. 14.
Some sports, including basketball and hockey, will require athletes to wear masks while playing and practicing. All sports will require players to wear masks while on the sidelines, and remove them only when performing certain tasks, such as drinking water. Some sports, such as swimming, cheerleading, and wrestling, among others, will allow players to remove masks while active.
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has put forth a chart outlining the new season. The regular season will be shortened slightly, in order to accommodate for practice time and to maintain the timeline for section meets and end-of-season. Essentially, students will only lose two weeks of the regular season.
That is, if students will be allowed to compete at all during the regular season. Currently, games are set to return on Jan. 14, but the situation could change again.
“The Minnesota State High School League is in constant dialogue and meetings with the Minnesota Dept. of Health, the Dept. of Education and the Governor’s Office to ensure the safe return to participation,” said Tim Leighton from MSHSL.
Many parents, students, educators, and community members hope to get students back into the sports they love, and so Leighton said there are a few things the community can do to help ensure a safe transition back into normal sports seasons and competitions.
“Following state and local COVID-19 guidelines is a crucial and necessary step in doing all that is necessary to limit exposure, controlling environments and keeping the risks of exposure at a minimal level,” Leighton said. “Constituents of the Minnesota State High School League, and all citizens, must be vigilant in exercising the importance of masking, physical distancing and keeping pod sizes small and intact.”