MN and MSHSL LogosOn Wednesday, Nov. 18, Governor Tim Walz announced an executive order that pauses youth sports and activities throughout the state beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. The executive order includes all in-person high school sports and activities and all in-person sports, activities and facility rentals offered through South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Community Education.  

What this Means for Fall Sports

According to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), all football teams are required to complete section football play by the end of the day on Friday, Nov. 20. Scheduling adjustments may be made at the regional level to achieve this. The volleyball regular season will also end on Friday, Nov. 20. All season-concluding events such as banquets and exit interviews should be conducted virtually, according to the MSHSL.

What this Means for Winter Sports

The MSHSL has declared that as a result of the restriction and limitations of the executive order:

  • The start of the season for adapted floor hockey, alpine skiing, girls and boys basketball, girls gymnastics, girls and boys hockey, nordic ski racing, boys swim and dive and wrestling will be delayed. The earliest these seasons could begin is Friday, Dec. 19.
  • Dance team, which began on Monday, Nov. 9, remains in season virtually. All in-person practice and competition aspects of dance are prohibited throughout the executive order.
In recognizing the positive impact that coaches have in connecting, supporting and engaging students, the MSHSL has made an exception to allow MSHSL winter coaches to have virtual contact with student athletes. Each high school will communicate with coaches and families on when this can begin. This will remain in effect until the executive order is lifted. Virtual contact is not allowed on Sundays, consistent with League bylaws. Please review guidance on winter sports from the MSHSL.

Coaches and Students Can:

  • Connect with participants/coaches via electronic communication only (i.e. email, social media or school-approved communication tools).
  • Provide/participate in optional individual workouts or optional individual skills training via electronic communication.
  • Virtually connect with and support participants/teammates.
  • Have in-person contact with a student/coach when the coach is an in instructor in a credit-earning class and the student is enrolled in the class, subject to the school's learning model.

Coaches and Students Cannot:

  • Have in-person contact with participants/coaches/teammates.
  • Require or suggest groups of participants to gather.
  • Suggest, support, or participate in "captain's practices" or "open gyms."
  • Conduct/participate in tryouts or provide/receive evaluations or feedback on participants performance (i.e. receive, accept or require participants to submit video of a skill or performance). 
  • Require participants to take part in individual workouts or skills training (i.e. journaling, reporting. of time spent, submission of results). 
  • Place undue influence on participants to take part in any individual workouts or skills training.

SoWashCo also strongly discourages teams from hosting in-person practices on their own. If it is discovered that a team is participating in these types of activities, there could be in-season consequences for the team.

What this Means for Fine Arts and Activities

All in-person participation in fine arts and activities (debate, one act play, music, speech and visual arts) are postponed. Activities that are able to conduct virtual practices, rehearsals, competitions and performances will be allowed. Please refer to guidance from the MSHSL on Fine Arts

What this Means for Community Education

All in-person activities through Community Education are on pause. Community Education will continue to offer programs and activities virtually. Those that have already paid for activities that will no longer be offered in-person and cannot be conducted virtually will be refunded. The executive order allows Community Education to continue in-person enrichment classes, such as ACT prep, driver education and babysitter training, as long as social distancing can be maintained.

What this Means for Use of School Facilities

Community Education will not be offering any school district facilities to be rented for use beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20 and lasting through Friday, Dec. 18. Students and staff will not be permitted to use any of the following facilities owned by the school district:

  • Football fields
  • Gymnasiums
  • Weight lifting/workout facilities and equipment
  • Pools
  • Ice rinks
  • Baseball fields
  • Tracks

SoWashCo understands how disappointing this is to our student athletes. We also understand the concerns about the effects this can have on the mental and physical health of our students. With your help, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19, get students back in our schools and return to in-person games and practices. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this challenging time.