Spring sports are on hold once again due the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Tim Walz ordered March 25 that Minnesotans are to stay home except for essential needs beginning March 27 due to a potential wave of COVID-19 cases likely on the way. The Minnesota State High School League said it's following the governor's directive.
"We recognize the responsibility that everyone and every organization has in mitigating the spread of COVID-19," league Executive Director Erich Martens said in a statement. "In alignment with state leadership and the governor, we support the actions to limit gatherings and to stay home as directed."
"The MSHSL will continue to provide leadership and support to its member schools throughout this challenge. The continued suspension of fine arts and athletic activities within our member schools is an example of our responsibility to the health and safety of our students, schools and communities."
Back on March 15, the MSHSL halted spring sports due to another emergency executive order. Spring teams were not allowed to practice together, meaning that facilities — gyms, weight rooms, tennis courts, fields and pools — were closed to all athletes and coaches and still are until May 4.
Will spring sports be canceled altogether? The MSHSL has not made a decision on that.
Spring teams have always had to deal with changing schedules due to snow, cold and rain. But they also got to practice indoors, in gyms, domes and even on turf fields, to get ready for the season. They can't do that now.
Section team tennis around the state starts the week of May 11. Softball playoffs start the next week. Many adjustments would have to be made for those playoffs.
State baseball tournaments for the four classes are scheduled for June 11-13, while the boys and girls lacrosse tourneys start June 9 with the quarterfinals and end June 13 with the two title games.
That's a six-week time frame with no practices until May 4, not allocating for the potential rainouts for baseball and softball.
"I hate to even speculate about it,” Craig Anderson, Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association executive director, told the Star Tribune. “It could take a week or two just to get the athletes in shape and ready to play."