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Changes announced for fall sports

By Staff | Aug 9, 2020

Fans of high school football and volleyball will have to wait until next spring to enjoy those sports.

There will be no homecoming football game this fall and the girls volleyball team, along with the football team, will have to wait until next March to return to action.

This was the news which came out of the Minnesota State High School League board meeting which was held last Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Soccer, girls tennis, cross country and girls swimming/diving were all given the go-ahead to have their seasons this fall, but with restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Girls tennis and cross country are the only two sports Blue Earth Area will have this fall.

Practices may begin on Monday, Aug. 17. Among the changes to the sports will be a 20 percent shorter season and a 30 percent reduction in games. There is also a limit of a maximum of two competitions per week.

The tennis team cannot participate in invitational tournaments and will be limited to dual meets.

Cross country meets will be limited to no more than three teams participating at one time.

Postseason play for both sports is still undetermined and will be decided at a later date.

If football is going to have a homecoming game it will have to be in the spring of 2021. Football and volleyball seasons were both moved to a new “fourth” season which is slated to begin on March 21 and run through May 15.

The football season will not have any scrimmages and the season will be reduced from eight games down to six. The postseason plans are still under consideration.

Like football, volleyball will have their season trimmed and there will be no invitational tournaments played during the season.

The “normal” spring sports of baseball, boys tennis, golf, clay target, softball and track and field will be held May 15 through July 15 of next year.

“I was hoping we could get back to some sense of normal,” BEA High School activities director Rob Norman said regarding the changes. “My concern was that we would start the football season this fall and then would have to shut it down because of COVID. This will hopefully give us a chance to get in a full season.”

Reaction to the MSHSL decisions on social media has been mixed.

“When small colleges, including those in Minnesota, began moving their games to the spring, I think it made it hard for the high school league to schedule football in the fall,” Norman commented.

Norman and his fellow Big South athletic/activity directors were scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Aug. 5, to begin the process of making schedules and discussing how to follow the state’s health guidelines when sports get underway this fall.

“In my heart I think the MSHSL made a good decision,” Norman concluded, “Because it gives us the best chance to complete a season.”