High school sports in Minnesota are set to return on Aug. 17 with a couple of big omissions.
The Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors voted Tuesday, Aug. 4, that cross-country, girls' tennis, girls' swimming and diving, and soccer can begin Aug. 17. But football and volleyball will move to a winter/spring season taking place from mid-March until mid-May.
Soccer will see the number of weeks of competition reduced by 20% and the number of games reduced by 30%. Teams will be allowed to play a maximum of two games per week. No scrimmages will be allowed. There was also a recommendation that if a school has an opponent on the schedule more than once, that they play both games in the same week.
Cross-country, girls' tennis, and girls' swimming and diving will see a similar reduction in games and season schedule. There will be a cap at two events per week as well.
For cross-country, invitationals and other large tournaments will not be allowed. Instead events will be capped at three teams per event. How the start and finish of cross-country events will be conducted to prevent mass gatherings is yet to be determined.
Girls' swimming and diving as well as girls' tennis competitions will be limited to two teams at each event. Spectators will not be allowed at swim meets if the event is held at a school, in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Education's policy that no visitors will be allowed in public learning settings.
What state tournaments could look like for the fall sports is yet to be determined.
Football's move from fall to spring came after a 13-5 vote. The regular season will be cut from eight games to six, will have no scrimmages and a postseason plan will be determined at a later time. Keeping football in the fall failed on a 12-6 vote.
Volleyball was switched to spring after an 11-7 vote. The late winter/early spring option originally failed on a split 9-9 vote before being revisited after a vote to start the season as scheduled on Aug. 17 failed, 10-8.
Both football and volleyball will be allowed to hold practices this fall as will spring sports that lost their season earlier this year.