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MSHSL has a plan for winter state tournaments

For the first time since March of 2020, the Minnesota State High School League is planning on holding state tournaments. 

The MSHSL Board of Directors recently announced that under the projected plan, a five-week run of state tournament events would begin with dance on March 12 and end with basketball championship games on April 10. The Board of Directors previously tasked League Staff with creating a framework of culminating postseason events. League Staff did so with the assistance of the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, activities advisories, region secretaries and tournament managers.

With each activity beginning postseason play at the section level, these events will continue to progress to a state tournament. While details of state tournaments continue to be formulated, here is a projected look at winter activities for area schools.

In basketball, state quarterfinal play will be played at regional sites for 32 games on March 30 and 31. The semifinals and championship games are tentatively scheduled at Target Center from April 6 through April 10. 

Dance’s state meet is tentatively scheduled for Edina High School on March 12 (Jazz) and March 13 (High Kick). It will be a single-day event for each category with a single dance per day. Each day will start with Class AAA.

Boys Swimming and Diving will be a three-day event and it is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus beginning with diving on March 18. No swimming preliminaries will be held, rather timed swimming finals will be held March 19 and March 20 with one class per day. A maximum of four sections will be competing at any one time.

The two-day state gymnastics event is tentatively scheduled for March 26 and March 27 at Champlin Park High School. Class A teams and individuals will compete on Day 1 and Class AA teams and individuals will compete on Day 2. 

A three-day state wrestling meet scheduled for March 25-27 will be held at a venue to be determined. Each class will have its own day of competition. The state tournament format at the final venue will feature four qualifying teams that advance from team state preliminaries, held regionally, on March 13. In the individual tournament, eight qualifiers in each weight class will advance to the final venue.

The state hockey tournaments in both girls and boys hockey are tentatively scheduled for March 26-27 and March 30 through April 3 at the Xcel Energy Center. Girls quarterfinals will be held March 26 and 27, and boys quarterfinals will be played March 30 and 31. The girls semifinals will be played April 1 followed by the boys semifinals April 2. Four championship games, two in each gender, will be played April 3.

The approved concepts focused on providing championships that maintain health and safety, provide spectator access, demonstrate financial responsibility and create memorable tournament experiences.

To monitor updated information on tournaments as it becomes available, please see the League website at www.mshsl.org

“The League is thrilled that students will have the opportunity to have a culminating state tournament experience,” said Erich Martens, Executive Director of the Minnesota State High School League. “Providing a championship event in every activity is part of Minnesota’s rich tradition of co-curricular opportunities. Safety is, and needs to continue to be, a focus as the League and its partners continue to work on these projected postseason concepts. We are strongly encouraged that we will be back together in a state tournament environment. These are incredibly special experiences and we are looking forward to celebrating with the participants and our member schools.”