A lawsuit against the Minnesota State High School League in September, asserting the league had failed to follow its bylaws when it moved football and volleyball to the spring, has been revived.
Filed on behalf of four high school athletes, the suit now contends the league failed to follow its stated purpose and bylaws by not adhering to recent Minnesota Department of Health guidance on the limits of fan attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suit, taking into account league board meetings on Sept. 21 and Oct. 1, claims the league engaged in “arbitrary and unlawful decisionmaking’’ in prohibiting fans at indoor venues and allowing no more than 250 people at outside events.
The complaint says health department guidelines allow for up to 250 fans indoors and as many as 1,500 when divided into sections that are limited to 25% capacity per section.
The suit, filed Monday, says the league banned concessions even though health department guidelines allow for concessions when vendors are able to socially distance.
“It’s perplexing that the board would ignore guidelines by agencies like the Department of Health that has much greater experience with these concerns,” said Sam Diehl, an attorney with Saul Ewing, Arnstein and Lehr.
The suit also asserts that the league’s authority does not extend to limiting attendance at individual schools, saying that right belongs to the schools themselves.
“They continue to pursue a decisionmaking strategy that is unfairly restricting the rights of the schools,” Diehl said. “We don’t understand what the incentive is to limit attendance.”
A league spokesman said Monday that it does not comment on pending legal matters.