MHSA releases update on Basketball, Wrestling protocols and start dates

 

November 11, 2020



Well, the fall sports schedule is behind us. The Harlem Wildcat Volleyball team and the Chinook Volleyball and Football teams were able to complete their seasons. Unfortunately the Wildcat Football and Cross Country teams along with the Hays/Lodge Pole Thunderbird Football, Volleyball and Cross Country teams were unable to finish their seasons as planned.

With the fall sports in Blaine County now completed, fans of local high school sports now turn their attention to the winter sports season. Basketball and Wrestling have large followings in Blaine County and speculation abounds as to what is in store for the winter schedule.

Back in October the Montana High School Association announced that the start of the winter sports season would be delayed. Executive Director Mark Beckman announced the start date for the first practice would be pushed back to Monday, December 7 with the first allowable day for competition being after the new year.

On Wednesday, November 4 the MHSA Executive Board released a statement regarding recommendations and protocols to allow for a full winter sports schedule to be completed on time.

In the updated Winter Sports Requirements/Considerations memo, it was stated that the first day of practice for Wrestling and Basketball will remain, December 7. The start day for competition has been adjusted from Monday. January 4 to Saturday, January 2. It is also recommended that all coaches and players receive the flu vaccine.


In addition it is noted that the basketball calendar will remain unchanged and dates for the post season tournaments will remain as scheduled.

In addition there will be no multi-team events, tip off tournaments scheduled. Teams will be allowed the same 18 game schedule with conference games taking place over non-conference.

Additional requirements/considerations can be found on the MHSA website https://www.mhsa.org/coronavirus.

For wrestling, several changes will be implemented, starting with the post season schedule. For starters the dates will be pushed back three weeks and have the Divisional Tournament taking place February 26-27 and the State Tournament March 5-6. Tournament locations and formats are still being discussed.

The official press release includes the following with regards to wrestling protocols:

1) Regular season contests will be individual duals only. No invitational tournaments (one or two day) will be allowed in state or out of state. Teams may have more than one dual in a day (2 are allowed) but must keep teams separated to meet social distancing guidelines. Only two teams per gym will be allowed to compete at the same time. Contests must be scheduled to allow for appropriate cleaning and sanitizing when the new team come to the facility.


2) No out of state competition or teams traveling from out of state for competition, unless it is in a dual format and approved by the MHSA Executive Director.

3) Wresting can have multi-team events (mixers) if they meet the following criteria:

• These events can have no more than 40 wrestlers competing if allowed by the local county health authority

• Each wrestler can only wrestle twice during these events

• Wrestlers wrestling twice must wear a clean singlet for the second match,

• All wrestlers must wear masks while not competing

• Try to schedule multi-team events at least 5-7 days apart to allow for time for students to get symptomatic if exposed.

• All other wrestling requirements/considerations must be followed and are attached.

The MHSA Executive Board reminds everyone to follow the Governor’s Phase Directives as well as all state and local health department directives. It adds that only schools that follow these protocols and recommendations will be allowed to participate.

Much like the fall season attendance will vary from school to school and those wishing to attend will have to follow the school hosting the event protocols.

Just like the fall if a school is unable to compete due to quarantine that game/match will be recorded as a ‘no contest’. If a school refuses to go to a game where it is allowed then it will be considered a forfeit.

Each District will determine how the results of these contest will play in determining post season seeding. Depending on available teams post season tournaments, schedules and brackets may need to be adjusted.

 
 

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