As the date to begin in-person practice for high school sports in Minnesota approaches, teams can now look forward to the start of competition as well. The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) announced Monday that contests and games may begin January 14, 2021 after updated guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Practice begins Monday, January 4.

"We are excited for the opportunity to start both practices and contests in this winter season," says MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. "The commitment to safety by our more than 500 member schools is critical to not only start our seasons, but to finish them as well."

In a news release, the MSHSL indicates, "The MDH updated youth sports document requires mask usage by all participants during practices and competitions with a few exceptions. Exceptions are made for those sports where wearing a mask may cause additional safety concerns and include gymnastics, cheerleading, wrestling and swimming and diving."

Martens added, "By implementing these safety protocols recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and required by the Minnesota Department of Health, we have the best chance to provide safe seasons with reduced interruptions and also plan for full postseason experiences."

The news release from the MSHSL does not directly comment on spectators attending high school league events, but does state, "League staff is engaged in reviewing the newest information and existing guidance documents and will provide updated sport-specific guidance by mid-week."

More detail is available from the most recent guides from the MDH:

COVID-19 Youth and Adult Sports under Executive Order 20-103

COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults

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