MSHSAA Board of Directors Grants Relief of By-Laws – Closed Schools Can Compete
MSHSAA announced relief of two by-laws and a board policy Wednesday. After a virtual meeting Tuesday, MSHSAA elected to allow schools not meeting in-person to participate in MSHSAA activities, and virtual competitions will be permitted in activities with the technological capabilities. MSHSAA postponed the release of fall classification and district assignments from August 21st to September 18th. Schools have until September 11th to notify MSHSAA if they have a sport that will not participate in the postseason. The board voted to allow teams that complete less than half of their scheduled contests to remain eligible for the postseason in their sport or activity. MSHSAA altered its “preseason jamboree” definition to add the opportunity for two-team jamborees. All changes are only for the 2020-21 school year.
Specific to virtual classes, MSHSAA says it addressed a request from member schools to grant relief of the MSHSAA Constitution under the Hardship Provision. The organization waived the requirement for member schools to provide instruction in a building or buildings. MSHSAA notes the decision leaves schools with “…the ability to participate in activities if the school begins the school year or transitions to entirely virtual instruction, provided they are following all health department requirements and phases, if applicable. After a long discussion, the board determined this should be a local school decision. Upon the approval of the board, a member school may now determine if its teams will participate in MSHSAA activities while its students are receiving virtual instruction only, while following all requirements and guidelines set forth by their health department officials. Students must meet all requirements of the local school, with the local school having the ability to always be more restrictive. It is a local school decision on what criteria it puts in place in order to earn the privilege to represent the school in interscholastic competition. MSHSAA Member Schools may always be more restrictive than the minimum requirements of the MSHSAA By-Laws put in place by the member schools; however, they cannot be less restrictive.”