It was just a matter of time, but Governor Tim Walz recently made it official, cancelling the Minnesota high-school spring sports season for the 2019-20 school year.

The decision by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is aligned with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and is in support of practices that focus on community health and safety.

“I can understand how heartbreaking the cancellation of the spring sports and activities season is for our students,” said board member Troy Stein, the activities director at Edina High School. “Sports and activities are about so much more than the competitions and performances. They provide students with a sense of accomplishment, purpose and belonging. They also provide the community an opportunity to gather and rally around their school. Without that, I think it is fair to say we all feel a sense of loss.”

The cancellation applies to all forms of student participation in any league activity, athletics and fine arts.

According to MSHSL, the section and state tournaments for each of the league’s spring activities are also canceled. League officials encourage all students, coaches, advisors and officials to adhere to the current stay-at-home order.

“Our work will continue in providing leadership and guidance for our member schools and will soon turn to the summer and planning for a return to participation this fall,” said Erich Martens, MSHSL executive director. “At this time, everything we can do to slow the spread and impacts of COVID-19 will help ensure the health of all and will most certainly increase the chances that programming for students can return.”

The MSHSL strongly encourages all students, coaches, advisors, officials and administrators to adhere to all aspects of the current stay-at-home order and participate fully in recommended safety practices, including social distancing, hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and limiting unnecessary contact with others.

With the increasing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals, communities and states, and in full support of the recommendation of the CDC, the MDH and all executive orders of Gov. Tim Walz, all Minnesotans must actively work to slow the spread of COVID-19.