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District Football 2015-16, 2016-17
Home Page Photo League adopts District Football scheduling plan for 2015 and beyond

Minnesota State High School League schools should no longer have a reason to travel far out of state to find football opponents or play less than an eight-game regular season football schedule. The League Board of Directors today unanimously adopted a plan that places all member schools with football programs into Districts. The members of each district will divide the district into sub-districts, and then create a full schedule for each team. In nearly all cases the placement of schools will not negatively affect traditional rivalries or preferred opponents.

For several years League staff, school administrators and football coaches have sought a solution for schools that have had difficulty filling their regular season football schedule. A committee of coaches, athletic administrators and Board members developed a District Football Scheduling System that was approved by the Board in January. A separate District Placement Committee made up of coaches and administrators worked hard to group schools into districts based on enrollment, geography and like schools, while also considering individual school preferences for maintaining traditional opponents.

"Everyone needs to keep in mind that this is just a step in the process of developing actual schedules for our member schools," explained Associate Director Kevin Merkle in presenting the plan to the Board. "Some districts have a wide range in school enrollment and geography, but once the districts determine their sub-district alignments, most of the enrollment and geographical issues will be solved."

The recommendation approved by the Board of Directors included:
  • Placement of all schools in a scheduling district
  • Final decision on appeals from schools who requested to be placed in 9-Man
  • Bylaws to guide the work of each district
  • Allowing limited inter-district play upon approval of the Board of Directors
  • A plan for the initial meetings for each district that will be lead by members of the District Football Placement Committee.

    The 10-member District Football Placement Committee met five times since mid-March to place schools in districts, using enrollment, geography, like schools and current conference membership and current opponents as key criteria. Schools were given the opportunity to provide information to the committee in advance, including three teams that they would like to continue to schedule. Those requests were reviewed carefully and were met to the extent possible. More than 90 percent of the schools' requests were met, and a significant majority of schools were placed in a district with most, if not all, of the schools that they now play.

    Districts will have initial meetings in the near future to discuss the placements and the next steps in the process. The next major step will be for districts to decide on sub-district alignments. Once that is completed, schedules for the 2015 and 2016 seasons can be developed. The goal is for all schools to have a complete schedule for both years by Nov. 1, 2014.

    "We are indebted to the members of the District Football Placement Committee for their diligence and hard work in this process," Merkle told the Board, "They put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort and their focus was always on doing what was best for our member schools and their students."

    To view the new football districts listing the schools placed in each district, click on the link below.
          
  • District Lists and Maps
    Reprinted with permission from Kulka TJ Kenney WI. Heat balance limits in football uniforms: how different uniforms ensembles alter the equation. Phys Sportsmed 2002:30(7):29-39.
  • Green Line: Regular practices with full practice gear can be conducted for conditions that plot to the left of the green line.
  • Red Line: Cancel all practices when the temperature and relative humidity plot to the right of the red line. Practices may be moved into air-conditioned spaces.
  • Between Red and Yellow Lines: Increase rest to work ratio with breaks every 20 minutes and all protective equipment should be removed to practice in shorts only when the temperature and relative humidity plot between the red and yellow lines.
  • Between Yellow and Green Lines: Increase rest to work ratio with breaks every 30 minutes and wear shorts with helmets and shoulder pads only when the temperature and relative humidity plot between the yellow and green lines.
  • Heat risk rises with increasing heat and relative humidity. Fluid breaks should be scheduled for all practices and increased as the heat stree rises.
  • Add 5 degress to temperature between 10 AM and 4 PM from mid May to mid September on bright, sunny days.
  • Practices should be modified to reflect the conditions for the safety of the athletes.
    Using the heat guidelines

    Lookup Current Conditions for Zip Code: 
    The heat stress graph is designed to give a competition safety estimate in hot, humid conditions. It is most relevant for long distance running and prolonged high intensity events like Lacrosse, Soccer, Football, and Tennis. It should be applied to practices and games.

    Using a weather radio or local radio station, collect the air temperature and relative humidity data every hour during the event and plot it on the relative humidity Vs air temperature graph. In the late spring and summer months on bright sunny days a correction factor of up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit should be added to the air temperature from 10 AM to 5 PM. This should be plotted as a bar rather than a single point to give and estimate of maximum and minimum heat stress.

    The decision to cancel or postpone an event should be made when the heat stress moves into the danger range. Although competition can be continued in the other ranges for increased heat stress risk, coaches and athletes should be aware that hypothermia and exertional heat stroke could occur in the lower risk ranges. Track and cross country runners should stay out of the heat between events and stay well hydrated. A rest break should be provided in activities that require continuous activity like soccer and tennis.

    Additional Resources:
  • ACSM renews caution for preseason training: Death by heat in youth activities is preventable
  • Heat and Stress: Role of the Uniform - What does it take to keep your players from overheating?
  • Read the article written by Dr. William O. Roberts, a member of the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, Death in the heat: Can football heat stroke be prevented?
  • Read about Heat Stress & Athletic Participation
  • Review Intravenous versus Oral Rehydration: Which is best for your athletes?
  • Review how to recognize a Heat-Related Ilness

    Coaches Checklist:
  • Follow the Heat Index shown
  • Watch kids closely
  • Take lots of breaks
  • Make sure athletes are hydrated
  • Athletes who take antihistamines or beta blockers may be at a greater risk
  • Trust Kids . . . They know what their bodies can take.
  • Don't let peer pressure force kids to make decisions that may cause harm
          


    Bethlehem Academy Volleyball Is Team To Beat In Class 1A
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 8/27/2014 3:14:06 PM

    The volleyball team from Bethlehem Academy in Faribault wins state championships on a regular basis, and when the Cardinals don’t win they generally finish second. Check out this consistency: Class 1A state titles in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012, and state runner-up finishes in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

    This year’s team may be the best one Bethlehem Academy has ever had. The Cardinals, who are ranked No. 1 in the 1A coaches poll, opened the season with a 25-17, 25-12, 25-20 victory at Lakeville North on Tuesday night. North is not ranked in 3A, but as Bethlehem Academy coach Franz Boelter said afterward, “I don’t care how good we’re supposed to be, if you look past somebody they’re going to smack you with a two by four.”

    The Cardinals are talented, experienced and deep. The lineup includes 2013 All-State selection Payton Nutter and All-State honorable mention picks Lauren Mathews and Maddie Strodtman. When you add Payton Schultz -- who missed most of last season because of an injury – and others, the team’s depth is something rarely seen on the small-school level.

    “Once we can get some continuity going here, this is a group with a lot of flexibility to do some different things that we’ve never been able to do before,” said Boelter. “Sometimes Schultz and Nutter will flip sides, and in almost every rotation we can do that and take advantage of mismatches.”

    Boelter is in his 23rd season as Bethlehem Academy’s volleyball coach. He also coached the boys basketball team for 36 years before resigning from that after last season. He is a Minnesota Hall of Fame coach in both sports and has a combined total of 1,124 victories; 613 in boys basketball and 511 in volleyball. He works as the school’s director of advancement, and he said those duties conflicted more with basketball than volleyball.

    “I never anticipated I’d go 36 years,” he said of coaching basketball. “There were really two big factors. One was with most of our volleyball seasons extended to the point that they are, I was going into basketball season exhausted and I didn’t feel like I could prepare as well and I didn’t feel I had the energy that I wanted to have. And you do that for a few years in a row and it starts to catch up, it’s like you never catch your breath.

    “The other thing is that in my advancement job, our busiest time is from early November to the end of April, and that’s the whole basketball season. It was just time. I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it and loved all the kids I’ve worked with, but it was just time.”

    He said he has no plans to step back from coaching volleyball.

    “Let’s see if they’ll keep me on for a while. I’m having fun, I’m enjoying it. When coaching is part of your fiber, it’s nice to be able to hang on to one of them.”

    BY THE NUMBERS
    *Schools/teams John has visited: 17
    *Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 925
    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn





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