High school sports in Minnesota are set to return on Aug. 17 with a couple of big omissions.

The Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors voted on Tuesday, Aug. 4, that cross-country, boys tennis, girls swimming and diving, and soccer can return for the fall. But football and volleyball will move to a winter-to-spring season taking place from mid-March until mid-May.

One day after high school sports kicked off in North Dakota with the opening of boys soccer practices, the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors approved the return of individual sports — cross-country, boys tennis and girls swimming and diving — as well as soccer for the fall season, to begin on Aug. 17. The volleyball season was moved to mid-March until mid-May.

Soccer will see the number of weeks of competition reduced by 20% and the number of games reduced by 30%. Teams will only be allowed to play 1-to-2 games per week and there will be no scrimmages.

The entire Minnesota high school sports community waited with baited breath as the MSHSL board of directors to reach the 23rd out of 32 items on the agenda for its meeting on Tuesday, Action Item H: Return to Participation. Will there be high school sports in the state this fall and what will they look like if they return?

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No spectators will be allowed at indoor high school sports held at school facilities in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Education's policy that no visitors will be allowed in public learning settings. But activities held outside of school facilities, such as activity centers or community pools, could have spectators as long as they follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Schools forced into distance learning will not be able to conduct in-person practices and must move to virtual-only instruction from coaches.

The 20-member board of directors is made up of one representative from each of the eight MSHSL regions along with representatives for girls sports, boys sports, speech and debate, the Minnesota Association of Secondary Principals, the Minnesota Music Educators Association, the Minnesota School Boards Association, and members of the public appointed by the governor.