The Minnesota State High School League has more than doubled its registration fee for athletics and activities to $225 per activity.
Rush City Activities Director Lee Rood said during the Rush City School Board meeting on June 17 that this was a significant increase for all schools who have been members of the MSHSL. The increase in the fee amount may be due to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and state shutdown of last year.
“Their biggest revenue places are tournament games,” Rood said. “So, you know, you look at last fall, volleyball never even got to their tournament. … They were shut down before their tournament started. So we had no tournaments.”
He added that football reached the section semifinals, but they also didn’t have state tournaments.
“Every school district last year got assessed the COVID-19 fee, and this year they restructured their fee processes,” Rood continued about changes within the MSHSL organization. “I’m not sure how far into the future they’ve thought this out — if this is going to be forever and ever.”
Rood explained when he started working for the district about seven years ago, the MSHSL athletics and activities fee was $90. About five years later, the fee jumped to $100. For about the last couple of years it was $110, but now it costs $225 per activity.
Rush City Schools offers 19 activities that are part of the MSHSL and they include one-act play, ensemble, as well as all the sports: gymnastics, hockey, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls track, boys and girls cross-country, wrestling, volleyball, football and more.
The district also has to pay a flat rate of $100, including $6.35 per student based on its competitive section number, which is the high school’s total enrollment from grades nine through 12, “minus whatever their formula is for free and reduced,” students, Rood explained. That enrollment number for the Rush City High School is 247, which adds up to about $1,568.45.
“The good piece of this is they made it more equal,” he said about the fees. “So we are one of the smallest 2A schools and we were paying the same as … Foley, or Milaca, or Sauk Center whose enrollment is over double ours.”
Since the MSHSL is the only organization that schools have to be part of to compete in state tournaments, the school board decided to approve the resolution to remain in the MSHSL for the 2022-2022 school year.