Spring sports seasons are fully underway for high school teams in Minnesota for the first time in two years. Players are excited to back on the field. They might not be as excited about the requirement to wear a face covering during their events. The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) took a step toward at least partially changing that requirement at their meeting last week.

The league's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee unanimously approved a position that athletes be allowed to compete without masks. That recommendation is being forwarded to the Minnesota Department of Health which has the final say on such matters, according to a news release from the MSHSL.

League Director states, "It is critical for our members schools and participants to recognize that the state requirements and our guidance to member schools has not changed. Yet, we appreciate the review and subsequent position of our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee on this important issue. We hope to work collaboratively with the Minnesota Department of Health to modify their guidance on the wearing of masks in our outdoor competitions."

Under the proposal from the high school league, athletes would still be required to wear face coverings up until the time of their competition, as well as during breaks and when the events ends.

The high school league board of directors approved a plan for a full playoff and state tournament schedule for spring sports. The first event is the state speech meet April 23 and the final state meet will be clay target on June 25. The news release indicates, "In a nine-day stretch that begins on June 9, there will be state tournament events in boys tennis, boys and girls golf, softball, boys and girls track and field, and boys and girls lacrosse before concluding with the baseball championship series at Target Field on June 18."

The league also approved section placement and realignment for the 2021-2022 school year.

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