MSHSL releases three return to play models
Published 4:50 pm Friday, December 11, 2020
The return plans for Minnesota high school sports became a little bit clearer recently when the Minnesota State High School League announced its three-model plan for starting the winter seasons.
The three different models were put together with different start dates to allow for flexibility when the current executive order pausing high school sports is lifted.
All three models allow teams at least a week and a half of practice before contests can begin. Depending on if and for how long the current executive order is extended, will impact how many weeks each sports has in season.
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All models also allow time for section postseason play and the possibility of postseason play past sections.
In model No. 1, all sports could begin practicing on Dec. 21 and would have two full weeks of practice before contests could start on Jan. 4. In this model, three weeks would be removed from the traditional boys’ and girls’ basketball seasons, two weeks would be removed from the boys’ and girls’ hockey seasons and one week from all other winter sports would be removed.
In model No. 2, all sports would begin practices the week of Jan. 4 and would have at least a week and a half of practice before contests would be allowed. In this model, five weeks would be removed from the basketball seasons, four from the hockey seasons and three from all other activities.
In model No. 3, teams could begin practices Jan. 18 and would have a week and a half of practices before contests. Seven weeks would be cut from the basketball seasons, six weeks from the hockey seasons and five weeks from all other activities.
The MSHSL’s Return to Participation Task Force said other start dates could be possible if needed to coincide with the lifting of the executive order.
In all three models, spring activities would remain the traditional length, aside from softball, baseball and track and field, which would each lose one season. However, there would be no adjustments to the number of contests allowed.
Albert Lea, Glenville-Emmons, Alden-Conger, United South Central and NRHEG are all in a distance-learning model through the end of the first semester. As of press time it is uncertain as to whether any of the schools will return to practices if the league’s start date comes before Jan. 4 .