Minnesota High Schools face an uncertain path to fall sports, including football


Last Monday was the first day high school student-athletes could work out with coaches present since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports back in March.  Practices, without contact, and workouts are now allowed at schools across the state. 

Athletes are physically distanced, there is extra sanitizer available - and a lot of questions.  State guidance surrounding coronavirus will limit all summer sports activities but there is still no plan for fall sporting events, and if they will even be allowed to take place.

On May 26, the Eligibility Committee of the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors passed a motion to allow summer coaching.  One of the things they talked about was how sports would be broken down into low-risk, a mid-risk category and then a high-risk category, which would include football. 

Friday on the Morning News with Dave Lee, Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent David Law talked about Minnesota schools talked about how they're planning for athletic activities. 

"I had the chance to participate in that planning committee for about a month," Law said. "And a lot of thought has gone into how to keep our kids safe in activities once they return to being physically active and engaging in social activity.  I'm not an expert. It's very believable that those sports where you're not having close contact, like a cross country or a tennis or a golf, potentially even swimming, could happen. Marching band, those type of activities where you routinely aren't touching the same stuff and being close to each other."

The biggest question marks surround the two biggest sports, football and basketball. 

"I think indoor activities, where you're very close together, will be one of the last things to open up," Law told Dave Lee.  "You know, a sport like football is the one where you're in the tightest space for brief periods of time. That will be the one that will get the most attention. I think that there will be sports in the fall. I'm not sure if there'll be all the sports at the level they've been in the past." 

From the NFL to colleges and certainly the high school level, there are still doubts as to how football can be played safely while health professionals continue to ask for athletes to stay physically distant.