Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued a “stay-at-home” order for Minnesotans on Wednesday that included extending the closure of schools in the state through May 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Minnesota State High School League quickly issued a release that said participation in spring activities for member schools would remain under suspension until at least through that May 4 date.
“We recognize the responsibility that everyone and every organization has in mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens said in the release. “In alignment with state leadership and the Governor, we support the actions to limit gatherings and to stay home as directed. The Minnesota State High School League will continue to provide leadership and support to its member schools throughout this challenge. The continued suspension of fine arts and athletic activities within our member schools is an example of our responsibility to the health and safety of our students, schools and communities.”
Effective immediately and continuing until Gov. Walz has lifted his school closure declaration:
All participation in MSHSL spring activities at all member schools is suspended.
Participation includes, but is not limited to, competitions, training, practices, scrimmages, and contests.
The suspension of participation includes fine arts activities and athletics. The following events remain suspended indefinitely:
Speech Section and State Tournaments
Visual Arts Competitions and State Festival
MSHSL State Robotics Tournament
MSHSL Clay Target State Tournament
The MSHSL release said that pending a reopening of schools by the Governor, return to participation protocols will be determined and communicated by the league’s board and staff. As of Wednesday, no decisions regarding the full cancellation of spring activities had been made.
“We continue to hear that high school activities are incredibly important and symbolic of the sense of normalcy for our students, coaches, educators and communities,” the MSHSL wrote in a message to its member schools. “League staff are engaged in ongoing conversations with board members, partner organizations and member schools regarding the needs of our students, staff, and schools including options for the current spring season. We value the insights of others and will continue to provide opportunities for involvement in these important conversations.”