• 81°

State tournaments affected by COVID-19

The Minnesota State High School League released a statement Thursday with plans affecting upcoming section and state tournaments due to effects from the COVID-19 spread.

While tournaments are scheduled to continue at this time, limitations will be put on spectators who will be able to attend the game.

“The Minnesota State High School League, relying on information from the Minnesota Department of Health, will limit the number of people at tournaments beginning Friday, March 13, 2020,” Thursday’s release said. “This decision will impact Girls Basketball Semifinals and Finals, the Adapted Floor Hockey Tournament, and Section Boys Basketball games. As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, plans for events held after this weekend are still being developed and will be communicated at a later date.”

Those attending tonight’s Section 1A championship game at 6 p.m. between Blooming Prairie will be unaffected by these changes, but the changes will affect Friday night’s Section 1AAA championship between Austin and Albert Lea at 8 p.m. at Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center.

“Attendance at tournaments is now limited to rostered participants, coaches, event staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and a small number of school-approved spectators of each participating team,” according to the release.

Schools will be given information from the MSHSL regarding the process and submission of designated spectators. Spectators will be required to present an ID and purchase a ticket to enter.

The league pointed to the live streaming option at 45tv.com/prep45.

“While the changes in our tournaments are unfortunate, we recognize that a collective community response is critical to supporting the health of our communities and mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” said Executive Director Erich Martens. “The MSHSL intends to do everything possible to allow participating students who have earned the opportunity to compete in these special tournaments to do so. We will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, The Centers for Disease Control, and the State of Minnesota and will work with League member schools to finish this winter season in the best way possible. We appreciate the partnership with our venues who have gone above and beyond in preparing their venues with additional cleaning and appropriate disease prevention.”

The release also said that all state and section championship brackets will be played. Consolation and third place games for Minnesota State Girls Basketball and Adapted Floor Hockey have been cancelled.

Updates will be posted as necessary to the MSHSL website https://legacy.mshsl.org/.