MHSA says ‘play ball’

MHSA says ‘play ball’
Butte High's Brie Birkenbuel battles for the ball with Kalispell Flathead's Lily Tanko Oct. 4, 2019 at the Jeremy Bullock Complex. (Butte Sports file photo by Bill Foley)

The Montana High School Association announced this morning that high school fall sports in Montana will be played as scheduled.

How many fans will be able to attend the sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic will depend on requirements from local health departments.

“Along with the National Federation of High School Associations, the MHSA Executive Board believes the resumption of sports and other activities is crucial to the growth, development, and mental and emotional wellness of our Montana youth,” the MHSA in a memo sent to school administrators. “The process utilized to come up with these directives, requirements and considerations included consultation with national, state and local experts from the CDC, NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), the Governor’s directives, state and local health departments and input from state activity associations across the country.”

Monday’s action outlaws multiple-team events, such as triangulars and invitational tournaments, for football, volleyball and soccer. Golf duals and cross country duals are recommended.

Golf tournaments can be held with more than one team. However, shotgun starts are required, and a maximum of 90 players will be allowed on an 18-hole course.

Cross country meets will not be allowed to have more than 200 participants.

Monday’s move sets the stage for the first high school sports in Montana since all the state basketball tournaments were halted following the semifinals on March 13, when the first four COVID-19 cases were reported in the state.

Practices for all Butte High and Butte Central sports, with the exception of golf, are set to begin Aug. 14. Golf practices start on Aug. 11.

Click the links below to see the MHSA requirements for each sport.

Cross country







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