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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis
Board Synopsis Image MSHSL Office, Brooklyn Center, MN
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019

• The meeting was called to order by Board President Bonnie Spohn Schmaltz.
• Board Member Tom Jerome shared the reflection.
• Amended minutes from the Aug. 6, 2019 Board of Directors meeting were approved.
• Approved the agenda and the Consent Agenda for the board meeting.
• Aaron Berndt of the Minnesota Track Coaches Association addressed the board.
• Craig Anderson of the Minnesota Baseball Coaches Association addressed the board.
Lobbyist Report
• League Lobbyist Roger Aronson shared information regarding student physicals for extra-curricular activities and interest from individuals to add additional screening practices for potential concerns.
• Shared information on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling that determined coaches are not public figures. Support and protection for high school coaches continues to be critical including good evaluation systems.
• The Legislative Session begins Feb. 11, 2020.
Legal Counsel Report
• Legal Counsel Kevin Beck reported that recently one case was dismissed, and two other cases are pending.
Executive Director’s Report
• Executive Director Erich Martens attended the recent Section 5 meeting in Topeka, Kan. Minnesota is the host state next year for the gathering.
• Shared information on the placement of teams developed through new cooperative sponsorships.
• Shared information and feedback from the nine Fall Area Meetings with a focus on the many responsibilities of the administrators across the state.
• Praised the work of a number of individuals for their quick action as well as the Emergency Action Plan implemented at Kimball High School during a recent medical incident to an official that occurred during a football game.
• Thanked League Staff for assisting member schools and the Board for their support.
• Called on Associate Director Lisa Lissimore to share information about the Minnesota State High School League’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Class of 2019. The event is Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 in St. Paul.
Executive Committee Report
• The committee received a technology update from League Assistant Director Laura Mackenthun. As a result, a board workshop will be held Monday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. Discussion will follow a presentation.
• A motion was approved to re-assemble an Ad Hoc Committee to review the intent, language, and implementation of the current Cooperative Sponsorship information.
• A request from Cretin-Derham Hall and Amerigo Twin Cities that would grant varsity eligibility for Amerigo students was denied.
• Approved a waiver for schools to schedule one additional game in boys and girls basketball against Harbor City International School in Duluth or Ubah Medical Academy in Hopkins.
• Approved the next Administrative Region Placement Process for the Spring of 2021 in conjunction with the Competitive Section Placement.
• The committee is in discussions on the development of new language for presenting partners.
• The Executive Committee report was approved by voice vote.
Action Items
• 9A, Strategic Directions
The board approved adoption of the Strategic Directions as outlined by League Staff.
They are as follows:
I. The MSHSL will further define, strengthen and promote the vision, values, and purpose of education-based activities and athletics.
II. Together, the MSHSL Board of Directors and League Staff will further develop and deploy effective policy governance models and practices.
III. The MSHSL will further develop a sustainable financial model that meets the needs of our students and schools and creates a foundation for the growth desired by schools and communities.
IV. The MSHSL will establish the technological systems and structures to support the needs of our students, schools and communities.
9B, Spring Activity Advisory Proposals
--- The board denied a proposal to add a 14th Category, Program Oral Interpretation, to the Speech State Tournament format.
Track and Field --- The board approved adding a third class of track and field. As part of the approved motion, the Minnesota Track Coaches Association will work with League Staff to create an appropriate split of classes. The three-class system will be implemented in the Spring of 2022.
9C, Baseball: 20 dates, 24 games
The board denied a request by the Baseball Coaches Association that would allow member schools to play up to 24 contests in 20 dates prior to section play.
9D, District Football/Competitive Section Placement Timeline, 2021
The board approved a motion to delay scheduling of District Football until the Competitive Placement process has been completed. District Football schedules are in place for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. This process will be completed beginning in late May or early June of 2021.
9E, Wrestling Scrimmage Policy
The board approved a motion to rescind the wrestling scrimmage policy that was passed at the June 3, 2019 board meeting. The previously approved policy had allowed wrestling programs with fewer than 20 registered participants to participate in up to two scrimmages per week.
Discussion Items
• 10A, Debate Rules and Policies

League Staff provided an update on the summary of changes. This will be an Action Item on the agenda of the Dec. 5, 2019 board meeting.
10B, Wheelchair Division Rules and Policies
League Staff provided an update on policy language. This will be an Action Item on the agenda of the Dec. 5, 2019 board meeting.
10C, Representative Assembly Proposals
Amendment proposals to current bylaws are due by October 15th as part of the Representative Assembly process. Currently, two proposals have been submitted related to enrollment numbers for cooperative sponsorships and the providing of an additional gymnastics meet for large conferences.
10D, Tournament Admission 2019-2020
As part of the League’s Strategic Directions, staff is exploring options of charging admission fees or entry fees for state tournaments that currently do not generate any revenue. Exploration and discussion will continue.
Committee Reports
Eligibility Committee

• The minutes of the Eligibility Committee were approved as presented.
Audit/Finance Committee
• The financial statements from July and August of 2019, were approved.
• The State Auditor is performing its annual financial statement audit. The audit report is expected to be ready for the February 4, 2020 board meeting.
Marketing and Communications Committee
• MnPrepPhoto has dissolved its business operations. The League will implement a freelance photographer model to meet photography needs during the 2019-2020 school year.
• League Staff reported that MSHSL Connect, the League’s monthly online newsletter, is posted the first Monday of each month.
• League Staff reported that nearly 300 media organizations have registered with the League’s new electronic media credentials link.
• League Staff reported that work continues to investigate sponsorship opportunities, including an enhanced partnership with School Space Media.
• League Staff announced the launch of two sportsmanship awards: Most Valuable Teammate and the Sportsmanship Challenge.
Education and Leadership Committee
• Technology needs were discussed.
• An update on tech services from outside vendors including Arbiter for officials, golf live scoring, etc., was provided.
• Recommended support of the InSideOut initiative in working with the Minnesota Vikings and the MnIAAA. A motion was made and approved.
• The next Board of Directors meeting is Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.
Parent Playbook Video
In preparation for the upcoming 2019-2020 seasons, the Minnesota State High School League, the Minnesota High School Coaches Association, and the Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association have prepared this video.
Parent Playbook Video
MSHSL Connect: Oct
MSHSL Connect: Oct. Image Check out the October 2019 edition of Connect!
October Connect
2019-20, 2020-21 Section Assignments
Competitive Section Assignments Image Below this message, you will find a link to the Competitive Section Assignments for 2019-20 & 2020-21 school years. The link will take you to a landing page where you will find the following:

Competitive Sections – There are 3 menus at the top that are universal to both the list and the map; 1. Activities, 2. Year, and 3. Schools. To view the section assignments for 2019-20 & 2020-21, make sure the year drop down menu in the middle says “2019-2020, 2020-2021”. You will need to click on the ‘+’ sign to expand any of the lists below to view all the schools within a section.
1. The Activities menu will allow you to see a list of all schools that are registered in that activity
2. The school menu will allow you to see where that school is listed in the activity you have selected.
3. If you leave the school the same and change activities to “Activities”. You will see a list of all the activities that the school is registered for and what section they are in.
4. You can drill down even more if you want to look at a section or class in an activity be using the controls just underneath the drop-down menus.

Section Map – The same menus and control listed above are also available on the map.
1. Select an activity first and make sure 2019-2020, 2020-2021 is selected in the year menu.
2. You can find a school by selecting it in the “School” Menu. It will show on the map with all the locations of the schools in that section. The school you selected shows larger than others.
3. Note that the school locations have a number on them. This identifies the classification not the section.
4. Section locations are hosted on the side of the maps. The number indicates how many are in each section and is located above the number of the section
5. You can drill down even more if you want to look at a certain section in a class by using the controls below the menus at the top.
6. One additional control on the map is the “Show Coop Teams”. By selecting this you will see additional schools that are in a coop but not the Host School. You will also notice gray arrows starting with the host school and pointing to each additional school in the coop.

Competitive Section Assignments
2019-20 Media Credentials Registration
Media Credentials Registration Image Registration is now open for media organizations to request credentials to cover Minnesota State High School League events.

The League is introducing a microsite credentialing system that is a two-step process. This system is designed to be streamlined and user-friendly. It will be a system that allows the League to communicate with member schools and media organizations throughout the process to ensure accuracy in credential requests.


Even if you are a longtime League media partner, the League is asking that you register your organization. An organization must apply within the registration windows. For fall activities, the registration window is open from Sept. 9-Oct. 4. An organization must register with the League within that timeframe to receive credentials for fall events. No registrations for fall activities will be accepted after Oct. 4. If an organization registers within that window, they are set for the school year. There is no need to repeat the process during the winter and spring registration windows.

Here is the registration link:


Through this site, media organizations can also monitor the approval process.

Communications Coordinator Tim Leighton is the administrator for media organizations registering for credentials. He can be reached at tleighton@mshsl.org .


At the approximate opening of the postseason in each activity, a declaration window will open for organizations to communicate with the League their intentions of covering state tournament events. No declarations will be accepted after the deadline. Declarations will assist League staff in preparing credentials for each of the state tournament events. The approval process for media organizations can also be monitored here. It is the responsibility of Radio Partners to communicate their coverage intentions with Region Secretaries.

Administrative Assistant Yvonne Walsh will oversee this part of the process. She can be reached at ywalsh@mshsl.org .

Approved Media Lists

In the days prior to a state tournament event, the League will post an Approved Media List on each of the Activities Pages on the League’s website. This will ensure that media organizations and individual media members are properly credentialed for that specific state tournament event.

It is the League’s intent to update or rebuild technology systems and programs. Given that this is an update from the credentialing process used during the 2018-19 school year, we welcome your feedback.

To our Radio Partners, you will be invoiced for your 2019-20 registration fee.

The League thanks you for your coverage of the member schools, its participants and their communities.

Media Credentials Registration Link

Football Is Growing, With The St. Agnes Aggies At The Forefront
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 10/13/2019
The game of football has come under criticism in recent years due to concerns about safety. The scales, however, are tipping in the other direction at some Minnesota schools, and St. Agnes – a small Catholic school in St. Paul – is at the epicenter of football's resurgence.

Before this season, the Aggies never had more than 33 players. But in 2019 there are 54 kids on the roster and the Aggies will take a record of 6-1 and No. 9 ranking in Class 2A into Wednesday's regular-season finale against St. Paul Harding. The reasons are many, but the main impetus is extra equipment being used by football players before they even get to high school.

A device called Tackle Bar is worn by football players in fifth through eighth grade at St. Agnes (which has fewer than 800 students in preschool through 12th grade). As explained on tacklebar.com: "Players wear traditional football equipment, plus a Tackle Bar harness that holds two foam bars across the lower back. The defender must track and engage with proper form tackling technique while wrapping the ball carrier and ripping a bar from the harness. With this approach, players stay on their feet rather than taking the ball carrier to the ground."

Tackle Bar, which is sometimes referred to as a transition between flag football and full contact football, has partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Football Coaches Association. It was invented by St. Paul parents Brigid and Jeremy Ling three years ago and is spreading across the country.

St. Agnes has a Tackle Bar team for fifth- and sixth-graders and another for seventh- and eighth-graders; they play in leagues that also include teams from St. Anthony, St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy, Providence Academy, Blake and Breck.

"Everyone told me it wasn't going to work, that we had to play real football,” said St. Agnes athletic director Mike Streitz. “Even our coach said that. Safety can be a fear at a small school with a lot of small kids, and we figured we had to find a way to convince families and kids that football is safe. Tackle Bar football was that; it got guys to enjoy the experience.”

Aggies coach Tom Flood admits that he was indeed skeptical of Tackle Bar.

“Because of the rules; no blocking to the ground, ball carriers can't lower their shoulder, those kinds of things, I was like, ‘Well, then they're not teaching kids to defend themselves,’ ” Flood said after St. Agnes defeated Academy Force 28-0 on Friday night. “But as you watch the numbers in football continue to dwindle, we’ve got to look at alternatives and Tackle Bar has been a great alternative for us. And as I really started looking at it, they’ve got their helmets and shoulder pads on and they're learning to carry the equipment. And it keeps them safe.”

St. Agnes players have been involved in Tackle Bar league since 2016. When Streitz was ordering new varsity football uniforms for this season, he initially thought 50 would be enough. Now he’s glad he ordered 60 uniforms.

“Convincing parents that football is safe was a big thing,” Streitz said. “It’s been a great experience.”

St. Agnes won six games in 2015, four games in each of the next two seasons, and went 7-4 last season, losing to Minneapolis North in the Class 2A Section 2 championship game.

“The biggest thing (about Tackle Bar) is I watched my own son who wanted to play football and really I didn't want to let him, he was small,” said Flood, whose sons Caleb (sophomore) and Cegan (eighth grade) play for the Aggies. “They're just not strong enough to control the helmet, going to the ground. Most of the concussions were from heads banging off the ground, it's not from someone hitting them. And so as their necks are getting stronger as they get older, to junior high and freshman year, they can carry that helmet properly and not have their head go slamming off the ground, just when they get knocked down. I really started doing a lot of reading up on concussions and whatnot; it's from the weakness of the neck bouncing. Tackle Bar takes care of a lot of that.”

In a study by researchers at the University of Minnesota that followed nearly 1,000 football players from 56 teams through nearly 16,000 practices and games, the Tackle Bar injury rate was more than seven times lower than in full-contact football, with no concussions or other head injuries.

“I think football is one of the best sports there is to teach young men character,” Flood said. “And if we want it to live, we’ve got to make the adjustments. It's been a huge resurgence for St. Agnes because once these kids start playing from fourth, fifth, sixth grade, their folks aren’t going to look at them in ninth grade and say, ‘No, you can't keep playing.’ You want to play with your buddies. And that's what it's about. So it's been great for us.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.

More of John's Journal
Registering with ArbiterSports
Officials Registration  Image
Attention new and returning MSHSL Officials:
The League has used Officials Corner to administer registration payment, online meetings, exams and State Tournament administration for many years. The League is now transitioning to ArbiterSports to manage officials registration and eligibility.

Please click on the link below to register as an official:


2019-20 Registration Fees:
Returning Veteran Officials: $55 first sport; $16 each additional sport
Second-Year Officials: $30 first sport; $15 each additional sport
First-Year Officials: $15 first sport; $15 each additional sport
Late Fee (after July 15): $30
Other notes:
• State Tournament Cards can be purchased at the time of registration by clicking the publications link on the registration dashboard and they are $30.00. These cards provide admission to most sub-section, section and state tournament events. You must submit a photo to officials@mshsl.org. The cards will be mailed to you in late September.
• Registration for each sport closes on the date that the rules meeting and exam are due. Due dates will be listed on Arbiter at a later date.
• Rule books will be sent to all officials, except for gymnastics judges, for the 2019-2020 season
• All policies for officials are in the Manual for Athletic Officials and that will be available on Central Hub.
• Registration for new officials remains $15.00 per sport.
• New Reciprocity or Student Officials(under the age of 18) should call our office to get added to Arbiter.

Questions? Email: officials@mshsl.org

We are only opening the registration/payment function of ArbiterSports at this time. Over the course of the summer, we will be adding functions and links to each sport so that online meetings, exams and clinic registrations will be available via your Central Hub. When these functions or documents are added to the site, you will receive an email from Arbiter indicating that a link or document was added to the site and you should log into the site to view the change.

The League appreciates your service to high school students by serving as an official!

MSHSL Hall of Fame Class of 2019
Hall of Fame Image Former Eagan High School girls’ hockey standout Natalie Darwitz and St. Paul Academy soccer sensation Tony Sanneh, both of whom rose to international stardom, along with longtime League administrator Dave Stead, are among 11 individuals and the Grand Meadow girls basketball dynasty that will be inducted into the Minnesota State High School League’s Hall of Fame.

The others selected for induction are: Minneapolis North basketball standout Khalid El-Amin; the Grand Meadow basketball program, which from 1929-39 won 94 consecutive games; Dave Harris, a former Alexandria coach, educator, media representative and the longtime Region 8AA Secretary; Cliff Janke, a longtime Fairmont speech and debate coach and leader; Faith Johnson Patterson, who led Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle to three consecutive championships each in girls basketball; Bill Kronschnabel, a longtime St. Paul hockey official, rules clinician and state tournament administrator; Byron Olson, former Lakeville/Lakeville North activities administrator, wrestling official and state tournament manager; Gary Smith Minneapolis, who is the first athletic trainer to be inducted, and Bill Webb, an Edina High School teaching and director icon, who spent 37 years as a music educator and leader in the development of music education.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, October 20 at 1 p.m. at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel. The induction ceremony is open to the public.

For event tickets, go to https://mshslhof.eventbrite.com

The League’s Hall of Fame, sponsored by Wells Fargo, started in 1991. The 2019 class is the 23rd group to be inducted. With this class, there now are 232 members in the hall.

Full Hall of Fame Release Hall of Fame Banquet Reservation Information
Purchase Digital Downloads of State Tournament Games
Purchase Digital Download Image Fans of the Minnesota State High School League now have the opportunity to purchase a digital download of State Tournament games.

Games broadcasted by 45TV, the League's television broadcast partner, and streamed by PrepSpotlight.tv are available to watch online for free.

If you'd like to purchase a copy as a gift or keepsake, please click on the link below.

Thank you for your support of the participants of the Minnesota State High School League, the member schools and their communities.

Purchase Digital Download

MSHSL Connect - Fall 2019

Welcome to MSHSL Connect, the League's monthly online newsletter.

We hope you enjoy this new method of providing League news and information.

League News
MSHSL Behavior Expectations
Board Workshop Agenda 10-14-19
MAAA Executive Secretary
Oct 2019 Board and Committee Mtg Agendas
MSHSL 2019-2020 Media Policy Manual
Concussion Insurance Program Guide
Concussion Insurance Provider Letter
Show Older News Items
Popular Links:
2019-20 AED Order Information
2019-20 Online Rules Meeting Deadlines
2019-20, 2020-21 Activity Classification
2019-20, 2020-21 Classification Method
2019-20, 2020-21 School Enrollment-Alpha
2019-20, 2020-21 School Enrollments
2019-20, 2020-21 Section Assignments
Advisory Recommendation Forms
Concussion Insurance Program Guide
Providing Equal Athletic Opportunities - A Guide to Compliance
Uniform Modification-Special Recognition
Weather Conditions and Competition

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