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After voting to go ahead with several fall sports last week, the Minnesota State High School League set season dates and health safety rules on Friday. Soccer, cross country and girls tennis and swimming and diving will proceed. Football and volleyball are moved to spring 2021.

Sports practice begins on August 17, which falls in line with the original schedule. Many other aspects of the season will be different. No captains practice is allowed. No are scrimmages against other teams that is usually a standard lead-in to any prep season. Teams will also be limited to facing local or conference competition. Invitational and multi-team events are eliminated. There has been no word on post-season competition.

Girls tennis will be the first sport to begin. Their regular season will run August 24 through October 3 with only dual meets. Girls swimming and diving will go from August 27 through October 17 and only feature dual meets. Boys and girls cross country will happen from August 27 until October 10 with dual or triangular meets allowed. Girls and boys soccer is set for August 27 through October 10.

Cross country is limited to a maximum of seven contests. The other sports have a maximum of 11 events. Both figures are well below a normal season. Owatonna activities director Marc Achterkirch said last week that reworking sports schedules and arranging officials will be a high priority.

Rules of the season are included in a document released by the high school league over the weekend.

  • Teams must observe requirements from the Minnesota Department of Health's Guidance on Youth Sports protocol.
  • The first week of practice should focus on setting health safety protocol and establish routines that include social distancing with pod limits of 25 or less.
  • Schools limited to distance learning due to outbreak numbers must limit to virtual contact. (Schools voluntarily on distance learning may still field teams.)
  • Interscholastic scrimmages are not allowed.
  • No captain's practice will be held.