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Minnesota high school league sets summer plans despite hazy fall outlook

By David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune staff writers, 06/03/20, 9:15AM CDT


ADs, coaches, athletes, parents have questions; answers few.

Hastings’ Todd Field is empty now. As for this fall, if the Raiders play, it’s uncertain how those game nights will look: Will there be any fans? Will rosters be smaller because fewer players try out? Will there be pregame coronavirus testing? Photo courtesy of Star Tribune

After more than two months without high school sports, the Minnesota State High School League on Wednesday provided the first concrete step toward possibly resuming competition when it approved a June 15 starting date for summer training by coaches and athletes.

The decision, pending final approval Monday by the league’s board of directors, likely will bring clarity to what’s allowed this summer across Minnesota high school sports. Achieving clarity for the next season — the fall sports calendar — will take more time.

The summer waiver period, when coaches can work with their athletes, had previously been set to start on Monday. It remains scheduled to end Aug. 7, with fall activities scheduled to begin Aug. 17. League Executive Director Erich Martens said the league “will look at the results of the summer programs” and follow the guidelines set by Gov. Tim Walz before considering any delays or cancellation of fall activities because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With summer coming into focus and fall still hazy, metro-area activities and athletic directors said in recent conversations with the Star Tribune that they are moving forward with plans for fall athletics. The reason, in short: It’s easier to plan now and pause later, if necessary, than to sprint at the end of summer.

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