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Update on Fall Sports

TO: Big Lake Student-Athletes, Parents, and Fans

FROM: Logan Midthun, Activities Director

DATE: August 4, 2020

RE: Fall Sports & Activities

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) board of directors voted today to continue with some fall sports and activities while districts are operating in-person or hybrid learning. Cross Country, Soccer, Swim & Dive, and Tennis have been approved to play this fall. Volleyball and football have been moved to the spring season (more details to come).  If schools go to full distance learning, teams will not be allowed to practice or participate in events. Students that opt for full time distance learning will be eligible for Big Lake Schools sanctioned athletics and activities. See more specific information below. 

Fall Sports & Activities: 

The MSHSL plan for approved fall sports includes starting on August 17, 2020 as scheduled but with modifications, game and season reductions, fan limitations, transportation guidelines, and safety recommendations. The MSHSL asks all schools to follow the MDH guidelines for Youth Sports- https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/sportsguide.pdf

Summary of MSHSL Fall Sports Return to Play Guidelines:

Approved fall sports were approved with a reduction to the number of games and length of season. The graph below demonstrates a 30% reduction in the total number of events and a 20% reduction in the number of weeks to the regular & postseason. Games and travel will be limited to conference/district schedules only. Participation in tournaments and invites is not allowed. All sports will be allowed 1-2 contests per week. Postseason schedules will be modified including reduction in participation and number of weeks. More information is forthcoming regarding the specifics of each sports postseason. 

 

Sport

Maximum regular season contests allowed

Total weeks of season (including postseason)

Postseason weeks

Maximum # of teams allowed at event

Cross Country

7

10

2

3

Football

moved to spring

moved to spring

moved to spring

moved to spring

Soccer

11

10

2

2

Swim & Dive 

9

10

2

2

Tennis

9

9

2

2

Volleyball 

moved to spring

moved to spring

moved to spring

moved to spring

Crowd Size Limitations:

Big Lake Schools administration will be working with Mississippi 8 Conference member schools to determine fan limitations and protocols for athletic events. The total number of spectators allowed at an outdoor event will not exceed the recommendations of the MN Dept of Health- 25% capacity up to 250 people. Spectators will not be allowed indoors (Girls Swim & Dive). If we are able to allow a limited number of fans for outdoor events, immediate family members of players will have priority. We plan to live stream as many of our events as possible. More details to follow on live streaming. 

Transportation: 

Big Lake Schools plans to provide team transportation for away events as planned. As done in the past, families may fill out a waiver to allow parents to arrange transportation to and from events when desired. Transportation waiver can be found at www.biglakehornets.org (under More Tab, Hornets HQ) and turned in to the middle or high school office. MDH guidelines will be followed in regards to the number of students allowed on a bus at a time (50% capacity during hybrid learning, 100% capacity during face to face learning). 

Member of a team tests positive for COVID-19:

If a case of COVID-19 is reported we will contact the MN Department of Health. MDH will interview parent/guardian, determine the dates when the case was infectious; identify anyone that may have been exposed, and collect contact information for those individuals. People identified as exposed (close contacts) are those who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of the case while the case was infectious. Exposed persons (close contacts) will also need to quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the COVID-19 case. Coaches will keep accurate rosters including who were at practices or games each day so we can appropriately contact-trace. 

Activities, Clubs, and other non-MSHSL programs: 

A decision about fine arts, activities, student clubs, and other non-MSHSL programs will be made by administration prior to the start of the school year. 

New MSHSL four-season plan for 2020-21 school year

The MSHSL has approved a plan to revise the sports season, with the movement of football and volleyball to the spring. Fall (approved sports) and winter seasons will be played during their regularly scheduled time. Spring season will go from mid-March to mid-May, this includes football and volleyball. Traditional spring sports will be played from mid-may until early-July. Specific start dates will be announced soon regarding the modified spring seasons. 

Activity Registration:

Families may now register for fall sports through our online registration system at- https://2007a.cf.wordwareinc.com/?p=2216. Any physicals or updated paperwork can be turned in to the main office of the high school during the regular business hours (7:00 AM-3:00 PM). Registration questions can be directed to activities secretary, Emily Gallus, at e.gallus@biglakeschools.org or 763-262-5183. 

Fall Sports Meeting:

The fall sports meeting will not be held in the traditional, in-person format. Each sport will have their own individual meeting in our football stadium/auditorium, to allow us to follow social distancing guidelines. Communication will be sent out regarding each sports meeting time and date. 

More details are to follow regarding specific information for each sport (start date & time, location, safety protocols, etc). 

Logan Midthun

Activities Director

Big Lake Schools

l.midthun@biglakeschools.org 

763-262-5114