Gov. Tim Walz announced new coronavirus-related restrictions Wednesday that will include a pause on high school and youth sports for four weeks.

Minnesota Pauses High School, Youth Sports For Four Weeks; Fall Sports Seasons To End Friday

Gov. Tim Walz announced the release of Emergency Executive Order 20-99 for the state of Minnesota on Wednesday evening, an order that includes a four-week pause on all youth and high school sports activities due to a pronounced rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The pause and all other announced restrictions will be in effect from 11:59pm this Friday through 11:59pm on Dec. 18. Among the order’s sports-related restrictions, all Minnesota State High School League and youth sports program practices, group workout activities, games, and tournaments are prohibited.

The winter sports season had recently opened for dance programs across the state, with all other sports scheduled to begin their preseasons over the next two to three weeks. The Minnesota State High School League has provided an update that it will be offering guidance for winter sports programs over the next several days, including on scheduling adjustments.

The timing of the pause means that the fall high school sports season will end this Friday, with Minnesota high school football in the midst of its postseason and volleyball just over a week away from entering its playoff window. Teams and sections across the state have been working to move games up ahead of the deadline for competition to take place.

Bemidji football’s Section 8AAAAA semifinal game with Sartell-St. Stephen that was originally scheduled for Saturday has now been moved to Friday night at 7pm from Chet Anderson Stadium. The game can be heard on KBUN-FM 104.5 and beginning at 6pm.

Moorhead and Alexandria will play in the other Section 8AAAAA semifinal game Friday night. A vote was held among the remaining playoff teams about the possibility of Bemidji and Moorhead playing for a Section championship with Alexandria and Sartell playing in a third place game, but the proposal was turned down in favor of the originally scheduled playoff games.

Schedule changes have also come to 9-Man’s Section 6, with a COVID-related withdrawal coming from Fertile-Beltrami. According to the Detroit Lakes Tribune’s Robert Williams, Blackduck has now been moved over to host Park Christian at 5pm Friday night. Top seed Win-E-Mac will play an out-of-section game at home against South Ridge at 6pm.

In Section 7A, Deer River’s semifinal game with Braham has now been moved up to Friday evening at 7:45pm.

Area volleyball matches are also still on schedule for the next two nights ahead of the pause.

  • Blackduck @ Nevis (tonight–6:15pm)
  • Deer River @ Northland (tonight–7pm)
  • Northome/Kelliher v. Littlefork-Big Falls (tonight–7pm)
  • Win-E-Mac v. Lake Park-Audubon (tonight–7:15pm)
  • Fosston @ Fertile-Beltrami (tonight–7:30pm)
  • Fosston @ Roseau (Friday–6:15pm)

With no games on schedule for the rest of the week, Bemidji volleyball’s season has concluded.