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MSHSL History

For more than 100 years, the Minnesota State High School League has founded its principles on promoting extra-curricular participation in amateur athletics and fine arts while establishing consistent and fair  eligibility guidelines for interscholastic contests. 

First organized in 1916 as the State High School Athletic Association, the League adopted a new name and vision in 1929. The League has existed as a nonprofit, voluntary association of the Minnesota public schools since its founding, and by state statute, was sanctioned as a nonprofit corporation in 1960. In 1974, the League began accepting applications from non-public schools. 

The League has adopted the following as its mission statement: 

“The Minnesota State High School League provides educational opportunities for students through interscholastic athletic and fine arts programs and provides leadership and support for member schools.”

The League is an active member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, located in Indianapolis, Ind., and is recognized as a national leader among state associations.

Minnesota was the first state association to sanction Girls Hockey, Adapted Athletics, Robotics and Clay Target. Other national educational advances by the League include: Team Up leadership guide, Anyone Can Save A Life, Why We Play, Coaches and Officials Education and instant replay. 


The State High School Athletic Association was formed with an office location in downtown Minneapolis


Joined the National Federation of State High School Associations


The association adopted a new name and vision as the Minnesota State High School League.


The League is sanctioned as a nonprofit corporation, via Minnesota State Statute


The First Congress of Schools, a first-of-its kind meeting of the total membership in League history, 486 member schools consider the restructuring of the Articles of Incorporation, the Constitution, the Special Rules Sections of each activity program and the establishment of a General Rules Section.  


A Second Congress of Schools is held with 427 of the 484 member schools present. With the format of the event, each of the 900 participants were able to listen, learn and express opinions on topics ranging from League rules on chemical and tobacco use to summer participation guidelines as it relates to football, basketball and hockey.


League office moves to Anoka, Minn.


The member schools approve amendments that provided necessary changes to implement reorganization for two-class competition. The League’s board of directors assign the largest 128 schools by enrollment to Class AA classification. The remaining member schools are assigned to Class A.


A Third Congress of Schools was held with more than 600 administrators representing 296 member schools. The theme of the two-day event was “Ownership Through Commitment, Cooperation and Communication.”


League office moves to Brooklyn Center, Minn.


The League recognizes its 100-year anniversary in a yearlong celebration