After originally changing the format of the section and state tournaments to include just limited spectators starting on Friday and Saturday, the Minnesota State High School League took things a step further on Friday morning when it announced at 10:45 a.m. that effective immediately, the league was cancelling the girls state basketball tournament.

In addition, all boys section and state basketball tournaments have been cancelled, and section speech tournament events the week of March 15-21 have been postponed indefinitely.

On Friday afternoon, the MSHSL announced that spring sports and activities will be limited to practice and tryouts only through April 6, with no scrimmages or competitions with other school programs allowed. The league also said that school administration may place more restrictive limitations on practice and participation.

These moves come due to the rapidly-evolving situation surrounding the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The move to officially cancel the remaining winter tournaments through the MSHSL comes a day after much of the college and professional sports world came to a halt on March 13.

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 until further notice, and the NCAA announced late Thursday afternoon that it has cancelled its famous men's and women's basketball tournaments. Major League Baseball announced Thursday that it was postponing the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. Baseball was scheduled to have opening day on March 26.

All of the cancellations are being done to limit large gatherings and reduce the threat of spreading COVID-19. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Recommended steps to take against the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, when water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol).

  • Cover your cough.

  • Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, mouth and nose.

  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

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