MSHSL Changes Fall Sports Policy

League shifts position

MSHSL Changes Fall Sports Policy

Adam Sylvester, Student Writer

There has been a shift in covid regulations. Due to a wide variety of factors including statewide outrage, a shift of opinions concerning the virus, and even a lawsuit, sports are starting to be reinstated back into the high school environment. 

On September 21st, the Minnesota State High School League officially elected to bring back high school volleyball and football in the fall, rather than moving them to the spring as had previously been decided. The MSHSL board of directors voted 15-3 to let football come back, and 14-4 to allow volleyball to resume. Both seasons started September 28th, with volleyball having an 11 week season and football having a 10 week season.

However, although the seasons for these two sports have been allowed to resume, neither one is expected to be back in full effect. There is a limit of 250 spectators on both sports, and it is unlikely either one will have a full postseason tournament. They are currently expected to have section tournaments, but nothing beyond that. The same is true for all of the other fall sports in the MSHSL.

Although the coronavirus is obviously a big factor for not having big postseason tournaments, it isn’t the only one. Because the MSHL didn’t set aside enough money to make postseason tournaments happen, the league doubts it will have enough in the budget to make these big events happen.

On top of that, the limited number of spectators will mean that they will not be able to make as much ticket revenue as they have in previous years. “What remains would be anything that might potentially pay for itself with 250 fans, if that were the case. And it is not recommended that we bring lots of representatives from multiple communities together,” said league executive director Erick Martens.

One of the major reasons football and volleyball are able to happen is because of a lawsuit filed by three high school athletes and their parents claiming that the MSHSL violated their own bylaws. The prosecutors argued that the MSHSL board members amended their own bylaws by deciding to not have certain fall sports, and they were not under the authority to do so.

The lawsuit prevailed, and the MSHSL was put into a situation where they had to allow football and volleyball to ensue.