MSHSL board members vote to move football and volleyball to spring due to COVID-19 pandemic

MSHSL board members voted during a special Zoom meeting Tuesday to move football to spring on a 13-5 vote. An earlier board motion to play football in the fall with restrictions failed on a 12-6 vote.

Several board members noted during the meeting that football is considered to be high risk for coronavirus transmission by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Other members indicated that moving football to spring also impacts several other activities, including baseball, softball, golf, track and field, tennis and other spring sports and activities, particularly for multi-sport athletes. Some spring sports could also be pushed later as a result.

A spring football season is expected to take place from March to May 2021, but with a reduction in the number of games and weeks played. It remains unclear at this time if fans would be allowed to attend games.

MSHSL board members earlier voted 11-7 to move indoor volleyball to spring.  An initial vote to move volleyball to spring failed; however a vote to keep volleyball in the fall also failed moments later. Board members had expressed concerns about a spring volleyball season interfering with club volleyball leagues. However, members were also concerned about whether MDH would approve fall volleyball matches, due to face-to-face play and the indoor nature of the sport.

In a separate vote, the MSHSL board decided both football and volleyball will be allowed to have organized practices in the fall, subject to decisions by the eligibility committee.  Board members also voted during the meeting to allow soccer seasons to move forward this fall, with modifications. The season would start in less than two weeks, on August 17, with a 30% reduction in competitions and a 20% reduction in weeks. One to two games would be allowed per week, with no scrimmages. No decision was made on a postseason plan.

Earlier, MSHSL board members voted 17-1 to allow individual sports to continue this fall, including cross country, girls tennis, girls swimming and diving. Several restrictions will be in place, with cross country events limited to three teams per contest; while only two teams will be allowed for tennis, swimming, and diving. The league will also shorten the seasons and the number of contests per sport.