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MSHSL restricts attendance for section, state tournament games

Because of the COVID-19 situation nationwide, The Minnesota State High School League announced on Thursday afternoon that attendance will be restricted for the remaining winter sports tournament, both for section tournament games (boys’ basketball) and state tournament games (girls’ basketball, adapted floor hockey).

According to a press release from the MSHSL, attendance at all tournaments is now limited to rostered participants, coaches, event staff, TV network partner, credentialed media, and a small number of school-approved spectators of each participating team. All designated spectators must present an ID and purchase a ticket to enter the venue.

The restriction begins on Friday, March 13 and it includes the New Ulm Cathedral versus Springfield boys’ basketball game, which is now scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Friday at New Ulm High School.

The MSHSL said that all state and section championhsip games will be played, but third place and consolation bracket games in both the girls’ basketball and adapted floor hockey tournaments have been canceled.

With the recent action by the NCAA, MLB, NHL and NBA among many other organizations, New Ulm Cathedral boys’ basketball coach and Activities Director Alan Woitas wasn’t completely surprised by the announcement from the MSHSL.

“Obviously the coronavirus has made some headlines nationwide, I didn’t see it happening for the section final game, but you leave it up to the experts to do what they think is best for people and we’ll let them be experts in their fields,” Woitas said. “We’ll control what we can control and the only thing that we can control is being ready to play [Friday].

Fans are encouraged to follow state tournaments through broadcast, streaming and/or social media. Girls’ basketball games will be broadcast on Channel 45TV and via streaming at 45tv.com/prep45. The Adapted Floor Hockey Championship will be broadcast via livestream on prepspotlight.tv. Twitter Accounts to follow are @mshsl, @ MSHSjohn, Facebook @mshsl.org, and Instagram @mshsl1.

Executive Director Erich Martens of the MSHSL shared: “While the changes in our tournaments are unfortunate, we recognize that a collective community response is critical to supporting the health of our communities and mitigating the spread of COVID-1 9. The MSHSL intends to do everything possible to allow participating students who have earned the opportunity to compete in these special tournaments to do so. We will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, The Centers for Disease Control, and the State of Minnesota and will work with League member schools to finish the winter sesaon in the best way possible. We appreciate the partnership with our venues who have gone above and beyond in preparing their venues with additional cleaning and appropriate disease prevention.”

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