MSHL Board of Directors approves winter state tournament season

Plans for championship experiences were approved today during the Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors meeting that was held in a virtual format.

The Board of Directors supported a conceptual postseason plan for the winter tournament season that includes state tournament dates and formats. Under the projected plan, a five-week run of state tournament events would begin with Dance on March 12 and end with basketball championship games on April 10. The Board of Directors previously tasked League Staff with creating a framework of culminating postseason events. League Staff did so with the assistance of the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, activities advisories, region secretaries and tournament managers.

With each activity beginning postseason play at the section level, these events will continue to progress to a state tournament. While details of state tournaments continue to be formulated, here is a projected look at each remaining winter activity:

Dance — The event is tentatively scheduled for Edina High School on Friday, March 12 (Jazz) and Saturday, March 13 (High Kick). It will be a single-day event for each category with a single dance per day. Each day will start with Class AAA.

Boys Swimming and Diving — This three-day event is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus beginning with diving on Thursday, March 18. No swimming preliminaries will be held, rather timed swimming finals will be held Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 with one class per day. A maximum of four sections will be competing at any one time.

Gymnastics — The two-day event is tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27 at Champlin Park High School. Class A teams and individuals will compete on Day 1 and Class AA teams and individuals will compete on Day 2. There will be two sessions of four teams/sections each day. Qualifying individuals will rotate with the qualifying team from their section. For qualifying individuals that are also part of the qualifying team, their score on each event will count toward individual and team competition.

Wrestling — A three-day event scheduled for March 25-27 will be held at a venue to be determined. Each class will have its own day of competition. The state tournament format at the final venue will feature four qualifying teams that advance from team state preliminaries, held regionally, on March 13.  In the individual tournament, eight qualifiers in each weight class will advance to the final venue.

Hockey — State tournaments in both girls and boys hockey are tentatively scheduled for March 26-27 and March 30 through April 3 at the Xcel Energy Center. Girls quarterfinals will be held Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, and boys quarterfinals will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, March 30 and 31. The girls semifinals will be played April 1 followed by the boys semifinals on Friday, April 2. Four championship games, two in each gender, will be played Saturday, April 3.

Basketball — Following quarterfinal play at regional sites for 32 games (16 girls, 16 boys) on March 30 and 31, semifinals and championship games are tentatively scheduled  at Target Center from April 6 through April 10. Semifinals will be played Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 6-8, and championship games scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 9 and 10.

The approved concepts focused on providing championships that maintain health and safety, provide spectator access, demonstrate financial responsibility and create memorable tournament experiences.