The Minnesota State High School League board of directors meeting Friday offered a little something for sports of all seasons.
Basketball players and coaches received a parting gift and their spring counterparts carry new hope of distance training. Summer training will start as planned, COVID-19 willing, and run a week longer than normal.
First basketball, which unceremoniously ended in March on the unluckiest Friday the 13th in recent memory. The girls’ basketball state tournament was canceled with 12 teams still in the title picture. Sixteen remaining boys’ section final games scheduled for that night were called off.
League associate director Lisa Lissimore said Friday the decision to end the tournament prematurely made for the hardest day in her 30 years with the league.
The board said all girls’ and boys’ teams still in contention for a state championship will be known as “finalists” and receive trophies and medals.
Changes to the summer schedule came next during the five-hour virtual meeting. For this summer only, the no-contact period between coaches and players was reduced to three days (July 3-5) from seven days. In addition, the summer coaching waiver period, which begins June 1, was extended by one week and will now end Aug. 7. Fall sports for the 2020-21 season are scheduled to begin Aug. 17.
A modification to rules governing contact between spring coaches and athletes was discussed, with changes possibly coming early next week. Since March 18 those rules said coaches could not “provide evaluations or feedback on participants’ performance.”
Board member Russ Reetz, the activities director at Prior Lake, said he favored optional, sports-specific drills and skill development.
The league shut down spring sports on Thursday.
Other board news
Winter state tournaments revenue dropped 9 percent (about $137,000) from last year, due in large part to canceling all of the boys’ basketball tournament and two days of the girls’ tournament.
Board members spoke in support of not reimbursing about 2,220 spring officials at a cost estimated between $30,000 and $35,000. That view extended to member school’s spring sports activity registration fee, which would cost the league about $340,000. In both cases, boards member believed that related services and instruction were provided.
The board discussed a proposal from wrestling coaches seeking to provide a full consolation bracket at the state tournament and expand the event from three days to four at Xcel Energy Center.