According to a release sent to the Owatonna People’s Press through the league’s email New Alert system and detailed in an article by WCCO out of Minneapolis, the Minnesota State High School League held an emergency meeting on Tuesday and discussed possible strategies surrounding the upcoming fall sports calendar.

Though the MSHSL stated the goal remains to open the season on Aug. 17 and no alterations have been officially announced, the league said it has began exploring several comprehensive options on how to move forward as the state continues to battle the relentless COVID-19 pandemic.

According to WCCO.com, changes could include “fewer games and meets and shorter seasons, or possibly even moving some sports to the Spring of 2021,” which would likely then force some sports such as baseball and softball to be shifted to the summer months due to the large number of multi-sport athletes at every high school in the state.

The league also discussed the significant financial ramifications of cancelling the fall and/or winter season(s). John Millea, who is the MSHSL’s Media Specialist, tweeted, in part, that the organization’s “Pre-Covid, budget forecast was for revenues of $814,722. If no fall activities are held, becomes predicted deficit of $466,000. If no fall/winter activities, predicted deficit is $3.2 million.”

The MSHSL’s master plan is projected to be released in the next two weeks after Governor Tim Walz and state education leaders announce their strategy for how the upcoming school year will begin. This could include everything from full in-person classes, to 100% virtual sessions similar to the final three months of the academic year this past spring. A hybrid solution that includes facets of both methods is also possible and being seriously considered.

Reach sports editor Jon Weisbrod at 444-2375, or follow him on Twitter.com @OPPJonW. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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