Minnesota’s high school athletics association became the fourth to reverse an earlier decision to delay football and volleyball to spring and move them back to the 2020 fall season.
In a virtual public meeting, Minnesota State High School League voted 14-4 in favor of fall volleyball and then 15-3 in favor of returning fall football. The MSHSL previously decided to move both sports to 2021 spring back on Aug. 4, according to the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s football teams will play a shortened, six-game schedule beginning Oct. 9. Practices can begin Monday, Sept. 28. A four-game postseason format will be decided by Oct. 1.
News Alert: The @MSHSL Board of Directors approved a motion to return football to the fall activities season. The move is effective Sept. 28. The motion calls for a 10-week season with six regular-season games. Postseason, TBA. #mshsl @MSHSLTim
— MSHSL (@MSHSL) September 21, 2020
The volleyball season will begin practices next Monday, Sept. 28, and play an 14-match schedule beginning Oct. 8.
The MHSAL had surveyed its 394 schools and reported that 80% wanted to return football back to fall and 76% wanted volleyball, the Star-Tribune reported. The Minnesota Department of Health reports that of the 1,769 COVID-19 cases associated with sports activities, 38% were minors under the age of 18 and, from those cases, 3,965 have been recommended to quarantine.
“It comes down to risks and how much risk you’re willing to take on as an organization,” Minnesota Department of Health assistant commissioner Daniel Huff told board members last week, according to the Star-Tribune.
Minnesota’s reversal of spring delay for volleyball and football is the fourth nationwide, following Michigan, Delaware and Colorado — although Colorado gave schools the option to decide on their own.
As of Sept. 21, there were 18 state associations, including the District of Columbia, that have opted not to play football this fall. Nineteen are now modifying their season starts and 14 have elected to start on time, according to the National Federation of High School Associations.
For a complete breakdown of sports seasons by state visit nfhs.org.
Correction: A previous version incorrectly stated Minnesota was the third state to reverse a spring decision. It is the fourth. Colorado allowed schools to choose to move back to fall or stay in spring.