By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota State High School League voted to push this fall’s football and volleyball competition to next spring because of coronavirus concerns on Tuesday, creating a fourth sports season for the upcoming school year to accommodate the crunch for student athletes.

The league also decided at a virtual board meeting that soccer and individual fall sports - including cross country, girls tennis and girls swimming and diving - can start practice on time on Aug. 17.

All seasons will be shortened. Minnesota became the ninth state to delay its high school football season, the Star Tribune reported.

Motions to play football and volleyball as usual this fall were voted down. Instead, the MSHSL approved a shift of those sports to the new season, which will likely run from mid-March to mid-May. Football teams will play six regular season games, down from eight, with a decision on postseason play to be made later. Sports that normally take place in the spring will be moved to a summer season likely lasting from mid-May to mid-July.

The board considered moving girls and boys soccer seasons, too, but instead approved resuming the sport on time. Soccer will have a 20% shorter season by weeks and a 30% reduction in games, limited to one or two per week. A decision on postseason play will be made later.

Competitive high school sports in Minnesota have been on hold since March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state. This summer, the league has allowed for team workouts within recommended health guidelines.

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