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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis: April 4, 2024

Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2024 - 3:16 PM

Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis, Feb. 4, 2021


  • Board Member Keith Cornell provided the reflection.   

  • Board President Jim Smokrovich called the meeting to order at 9:36 a.m.    

  • The Board of Directors approved the meeting agenda.   

  • The Board of Directors Meeting Minutes from Feb. 1, 2024, were approved.  

  • Board Members shared comments on recent events and thanked League Staff for their work.   

 Lobbyist’s Report    

  • League Lobbyist Roger Aronson shared updates from the State Legislature. 

  • The Senate passed its Education Policy bill on April 1.   

  • The Legislative Session ends May 20. 

Legal Counsel Report   

  • League Counsel Kevin Beck reported on one pending case.   

Executive Director’s Report   

Executive Director Erich Martens:   

  • Shared that Joe Mauer was selected to the National High School Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be July 1 in Boston during the NFHS Summer Meeting. 

  • Zach Prax was announced as a new Board Member beginning in 2024-2025, representing Speech and Debate. He is an educator at Eastview High School. 

  • Shared that two Governor’s Appointees to the board are to be determined by the end of May. 

  • Yielded the floor to League Staff to share an update on Together in Partnership 3.0. After feedback from this year’s statewide conference, the next chapter of the leadership program will be held at four regional sites during the 2024-2025 school year. Work in selecting host sites, identifying presenters and conference outcomes will continue with the Together Steering Committee.    

  • Yielded the floor to League Staff to share updates from the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Updates were shared on Hockey Neck Protection, Wrestling Points of Emphasis for both coaches and officials, and Qualifying Sports Physicals. 

  • Yielded the floor to League Staff to report a League presence at the Discover Abilities Expo on April 20 at the University of Minnesota Rec Center.  

  • Praised the partnerships of state tournament venues, the service of state tournament officials, the administrative regions and the Board of Directors for their support and presence at winter state tournaments.  

  • Yielded the floor to League Staff to share reviews from state tournament events.  

  • Reported on participation and presentations in the last month included: 

MASA/MASE Conference, March 14MSHSCA --- March 22 

MnIAAA Conference, March 26-27 

  • Coming events include: 

NFHS Legal Meeting, Indianapolis, April 11-12 

MASSP Student Handbook Presentation, April 17 

  • At the June Board Meeting, outgoing Board Members will be recognized. 

  • Board of Directors openings for the 2024-2025 school year include a Governor Appointee, Regions 3A/4A, Regions 7AA/8AA, MASSP (Class AA) and Girls Sports Representative. 

Executive Committee Report    

Board President Jim Smokrovich reported: 

  • The Executive Committee approved the customary celebration dinner for Joe Mauer and his family during the NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston.  

  • The Board of Directors approved an Executive Committee recommendation of Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort as the host site for the Board of Directors Workshop and August Board Meeting in 2024 and 2025. 

  • The Executive Committee approved a recommendation to the full Board for the adoption of a Ninth Grade Governance Task Force. Subsequently, the Board of Directors did approve the formation of this Task Force. 

  • The committee approved the recommendation of the Boys Volleyball Advisory regarding the dates of the approved season. In 2024-2025, the season will begin on March 17, 2025, with the state tournament held during the week of June 9 – 13, 2025. 


Action Items   

9A: 2024-2025 State Tournament Calendar    

  • The Board of Directors approved the 2024-2025 State Tournament Calendar. State Tournament dates for Football, Track and Field and Baseball are still to be determined.  

9B: 2024-2025 Meeting Dates    

  • The Board of Directors approved 2024-2025 Meeting Dates including Board Meetings and Workshops, Representative Assembly and Area Meetings.  

9C: Adoption of Programs: Sunset Policy 

  • The Board of Directors approved the final draft of the Sunset Policy established by the Adoption of Programs Task Force. This policy creates a multi-step approach to considering options for programs that have fewer than 32 teams participating. Growing programs in other schools and maintaining them for students remains a priority either under the leadership of the League or under guidance from another organization. 

9D: Competitive Section Placement: Boys Volleyball 

  • The Board of Directors approved competitive sections for the inaugural season of Boys Volleyball during the 2024-2025 school year. The sport will be a one-class activity in its first season.  

Discussion Items   

10A: Winter Activity Advisory Proposals  

  • Boys and Girls Alpine Skiing --- This proposal seeks an allowance to use any available video to protest a disqualification but would not allow video evidence to implement a disqualification. Currently, the jury does not consider any video review in responding to appeals. 

  • Boys and Girls Basketball --- The first proposal seeks to add a Minnesota Rule Modification to the NFHS Basketball Rules Book on the Basket Interference rule. The second proposal is to seed the quarterfinals of the state tournaments for all classes, Nos. 1-8. 

  • Boys Hockey --- The first proposal seeks to align the classification process for Boys Hockey with the method used in all other team sports. The current placement process places the largest 64 teams and any opt-ups into Class AA. The new proposal would limit Class AA to 64 total teams comprised of opt-ups and the largest teams by enrollment. The second proposal is to seed the quarterfinals of the state tournaments for both classes, Nos. 1-8.

  • Girls Hockey --- This proposal seeks to seed the quarterfinals of the state tournaments for both classes, Nos. 1-8. 

  • Boys and Girls Nordic Skiing --- The first proposal seeks to remove hats and headgear from inclusion in the uniform requirements under Rule 206.1.1 and 206.1.2 unless graphic illustrations are inappropriate. The second proposal seeks to implement a factor system for events, including section and state for student-participants who have confirmed their Para classification with the U.S. Paralympics. 

  • Wrestling --- The first proposal is to increase the number of Girls-Only events that do not count toward a team limit of 16, from four to eight. The second proposal seeks to codify the required format used for section individual tournaments. The proposal would require sections with 10 or more teams to administer a two-day tournament. The third proposal seeks the addition of full wrestlebacks for the individual state tournament. 

10B: Drone Policy   

  • The Board of Directors discussed the League’s current Drone Policy and the recent inclusion of drones in the Behavior Expectations document. Requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration were also discussed. 

10C: Ninth Grade Governance  

  • The Board of Directors discussed the steps required in transitioning the League to a 9-12 organization. Included in the discussion was a draft resolution for the Board to consider in June of 2024 which would call a member school vote in early October.  

10D: Transfer Eligibility Guide  

  • The Board of Directors heard a report from League Staff about potential adjustments or amendments to the policy language that could increase consistency in working with transfers and eligibility.   

10E: Name, Image and Likeness  

  • The Board of Directors discussed and reviewed the League’s Name, Image and Likeness Policy. League Staff and the Board of Directors will continue to review and update policy language where needed. The League’s current policy protects the amateur status of all participants.   

Committee Reports   

11A: Eligibility Committee   

The Committee reported on a number of policy-based discussions including: 

  • The League Drone Policy and potential governance in regular season. 

  • Transfer and Eligibility determinations for students enrolled in ISD Online programs outside their resident school district. 

  • A requested staff submission of bylaw language that would clarify the definition of alumni contests. 

  • The Board of Directors approved the Eligibility Report as presented.   

11B: Audit/Finance Committee   

  • The Board of Directors approved the January 2024 and February 2024 Financial Statements.  

  • Nine of 10 winter state tournament events showed attendance increases from a year ago. 

  • The Board of Directors approved a motion that requires Region 4A administration to keep excess funds in the region accounts. 

  • The Board of Directors approved the Audit/Finance Committee report as presented. 

11C: Marketing and Communications Committee  

League Staff:   

  • Shared a technology report that included website updates and social media analytics from the winter tournaments. 

  • Led the committee in reflection and discussion on the League’s media credentialing system, approval process and policies regarding photography and video.  

  • Shared that the Outstanding Media Service Award recipients recognized on March 23 during the Boys Basketball State Tournament were Ada’s Jim Birkemeyer and Stillwater’s Stuart Groskreutz. 

  • Shared updates on sponsorships and marketing work that was done during the state tournaments. Thanked TruStone Financial Credit Union for their sponsorship and distributed scholarship applications for 40 students to our member schools this week.  

The Board of Directors approved the Marketing and Communication Committee report as presented. 

11D: Education and Leadership   

League Staff:

Shared that applications are open for SALT (Student Advisory and Leadership Team) for 2025-2026. 

  • Shared planning being done for Together in Partnership 3.0 to be held this fall. 

  • Shared that the number of registered officials has reached pre-COVID numbers.  

  • The Board of Directors approved the Education and Leadership Committee report as presented. 


  • Election of Board Officers for 2024-2025: Introduction of Candidates, LeRoy Fairbanks (Treasurer); Brent Schimek (Vice President); Don Peschel (President). The election will take place virtually before the June 2024 Board Meeting. 

  • Hall of Fame: Sunday, April 14, InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel   

  • Board Workshop: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 --- 2 p.m. 

  • NFHS Summer Meeting: June 28-July 1, 2024 --- Boston, MA  

  • MSHSL Summer Workshop and Board Meeting, July 28-July 30, 2024 --- Ruttger’s at Bay Lake 

  • The meeting was adjourned at 1:16 p.m.   


Next Article

Board of Directors Meeting Release: April 4, 2024