The Minnesota State High School League approved tournament formats for its winter sports teams at a Board of Directors meeting held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 4.
Under the projected plan, a five-week run of state tournament events would begin with Alpine skiing on Wednesday, March 10, and end with the basketball championship games on Saturday, April 10.
The framework for the tournaments, especially at the section level, will be determined by MSHSL staff along with regional secretaries, tournament managers, activity advisory committees, and the MSHSL’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
Here is a look at each winter sports activity:
Alpine Skiing: The state tournament is tentatively scheduled to be held at Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort on Wednesday, March 10. It will be a one-day event, with 88 skiers per gender participating. Pods of 22 skiers will compete in four different waves. Each skier competes in two races.
Dance: The state event is tentatively scheduled for Edina High School on Friday, March 12 (Jazz) and Saturday, March 13 (High Kick). It will be a single-day event for each category with a single dance per day. Each day will start with Class AAA.
Boys Swimming and Diving: This three-day event is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus beginning with diving on Thursday, March 18. No swimming preliminaries will be held; instead timed swimming finals will be held Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20, with one class per day. A maximum of four sections will be competing at any one time.
Gymnastics: The two-day event is tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27, at Champlin Park High School. Class A teams and individuals will compete on Day 1 and Class AA teams and individuals will compete on Day 2. There will be two sessions of four teams/sections each day. Qualifying individuals will rotate with the qualifying team from their section. For qualifying individuals that are also part of the qualifying team, their score on each event will count toward individual and team competition.
Wrestling: A three-day event is scheduled for March 25-27 at a venue to be determined. Each class will have its own day of competition. The state tournament format at the final venue will feature four qualifying teams that advance from team state preliminaries, held regionally, on March 13. In the individual tournament, eight qualifiers in each weight class will advance to the final venue.
Hockey: State tournaments in both girls and boys hockey are tentatively scheduled for March 26-27 and March 30 through April 3 at the Xcel Energy Center. Girls quarterfinals will be held Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, and boys quarterfinals will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, March 30 and 31. The girls semifinals will be played April 1 followed by the boys semifinals on Friday, April 2. Four championship games, two in each gender, will be played Saturday, April 3.
Basketball: Following quarterfinal play at regional sites for 32 games (16 girls, 16 boys) on March 30 and 31, semifinals and championship games are tentatively scheduled to be played at Target Center from April 6 through April 10. Semifinals will be played Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 6-8, and championship games scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 9 and 10.
“The League is thrilled that students will have the opportunity to have a culminating state tournament experience,” said Erich Martens, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League. “Providing a championship event in every activity is part of Minnesota’s rich tradition of co-curricular opportunities. Safety is, and needs to continue to be, a focus as the League and its partners continue to work on these projected postseason concepts.”