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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis: June 6, 2023

Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 3:06 PM

Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis, Feb. 4, 2021

Minnesota State High School League   

Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis   

League Office, Brooklyn Center, MN    

Tuesday, June 6, 2023    


  • Introduction of Incoming Board Members: Dr. Renee Corneille, St. Anthony-New Brighton, MASA; Keith Cornell, St. Michael-Albertville, Regions 5AA-6AA; Mark Gitch, Wayzata, MMEA; Mike Hennen, Forest Lake, Boys Sports Representative; Brad O’Donnell, St. Clair, Regions 1A-2A; Kristi Peterson, Shakopee, MSBA. 
  • Board member Leroy Fairbanks provided the reflection.   
  • Board President Troy Stein called the meeting to order at 9:39 a.m. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the consent agenda.   
  • The Board of Directors approved the meeting minutes of April 6, 2023. 
  • Wayzata Nordic Skiing coach Andrew Hansen spoke on behalf of Nordic Skiing Advisory Proposals. 
  • Tom Critchley, the executive director of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association, Pat Barrett, the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association representative and Park Center Boys Basketball Head Coach James Ware all spoke on behalf of seeding the Girls and Boys Basketball state tournaments.  

Lobbyist Report  

  • Director Erich Martens shared a brief update on the passage of a change in Minnesota State Statute that modifies the number of board members and accounts for two MASA representatives on the Board of Directors.  
  • Board President Troy Stein thanked Roger Aronson for his tireless work and commitment on behalf of the League during the Legislative Session. 

Legal Counsel Report   

  • Legal Counsel Kevin Beck reported no pending legal proceedings.    

Executive Director’s Report   

Executive Director Erich Martens:   

  • Yielded the floor to Board Member Amanda Kaus for a NFHS Board of Directors update. 
  • Shared the new MSHSL Foundation Board members for 2023-2024: Justin Brown, Litchfield; Virgil Jones, ISD 196; Elisa Ryan Manny, Visitation. Announced that Dean Haugo, Moorhead, will replace Mike Kolness as president. 
  • The MSHSL Foundation will offer Form A and Form B for the 2023-2024 school year with discussion on an AED-specific opportunity through the “Anyone Can Save A Life” initiative and the Foundation.  
  • Yielded the floor to League Staff for an update on the spring state tournaments to date. 
  • Shared updates on work toward Strategic Directions, which include: Health and Safety, Officials and Communicating the story of the MSHSL.  
  • Attended the Minneapolis Athena Awards on May 5. Special acknowledgment of former MSHSL staff member Dorothy McIntyre, Region Secretary Nancy Manderfeld and many others for their service of leading this important program that recognizes outstanding female student-athletes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. 
  • Thanked Board Members for their attendance at the Representative Assembly Meeting on May 9. 
  • The strong partnership with other professional associations will continue by attending the MASA Leadership Meeting and the MASSP Summer Conference.  
  • Applications for a Governors’ Appointee position to the Board of Directors are still being accepted. 
  • The New Board Member Orientation is planned for July 11 at the League Office.    

Executive Committee Report  

Board President Troy Stein reported:   

  • The Board of Directors approved an Executive Committee recommendation to accept the District Football Placements.  
  • The Executive Committee reviewed and affirmed the decision of the Eligibility Committee on a recent case. 
  • Reviewed the projected 2023-2024 budget. 
  • Reviewed and approved the MSHSL Employee Agreements for the next two years. The Board of Directors approved the Executive Committee recommendation.  
  • Reviewed a new member school application that included discussion on consideration of factors with new member schools. 
  • Reviewed the Activity Advisory Process Policy and the Presenting Partner Policy. 
  • Reviewed the MSHSL Behavior Expectations statement which is an Action Item. 
  • Reviewed the Boys Volleyball Task Force timeline and next steps. 
  • Continued discussion on projected facilities work that is scheduled at the League Office.  

Action Items  

9A: 2023-2024 Board Officers  

  • The Board of Directors affirmed the voting results of the Board Officer Elections: Jim Smokrovich, President; Don Peschel, Vice President; Bill Tauer, Treasurer.  

9B: Section and State Medals Proposal 

  • The Board of Directors approved a chart/guideline for the awarding of medals and trophies at the section and state tournament levels. This practice will create consistency in the recognition of member schools and participants.  

9C: Activity Advisory Proposal Policy 

  • The Board of Directors approved policy language that further defines the process and timelines for the resubmission of an Activity Advisory Proposal. 

9D: Winter Activity Advisory Proposals 

  1. Basketball 

  • The Board of Directors voted to table an Activity Advisory Proposal to seed the Boys and Girls Basketball State Tournaments Nos. 1-8 for all classes. The Board of Directors tasked League Staff to gather information from Activity Advisory Committees in most programs and initiate further study and discussion at the Board of Directors Workshop in August.    
  1. Dance 

  • The Board of Directors voted to table an Activity Advisory Proposal that would implement a specific order of competition at the preliminary round of the State Tournament to be determined by placement at the section competition. This will also be part of continued study and discussion at the Board of Directors Workshop in August.  
  1. Debate 

  • The Board of Directors approved an Activity Advisory Proposal that updates standards and qualification methods for Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum and Policy Debate to match the format used by Congressional Debate and set the number of state qualifiers at 24 in all four events.   
  1. Nordic Skiing 

  • The Board of Directors did not approve an Activity Advisory Proposal that increases the number of individuals qualifying for the State Meet from each section to be qualifying teams plus six highest finishers. 
  • The Board of Directors approved proposals that would create a State Meet schedule that provides for greater consistency 
  • The Board of Directors approved a proposal to modify the use of alternate skiers at the State Meet that permits a skier from the Sprint Relay to fill an empty spot in the Pursuit, or vice versa. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the implementation of updated tie-breaking criteria by removing the current first determining factor.  
  1. Wrestling 

  • The Board of Directors did not approve an Activity Advisory Proposal to add a half-day of competition to the current three-day format for the Wrestling State Tournament. 

9E: Basketball Rules Modifications 

  • The Board of Directors approved policy language for the implementation of the Basketball Shot Clock for the 2023-2024 season. The policy language addresses reset adjustments to the Shot Clock rule.  
  • Approval of policy language that removes the closely-guarded counts while a player is dribbling in the front court.  
  • Policy language was also approved for Shot Clock violations as a reviewable situation via replay in limited circumstances during State Tournament play in televised games. 

9F: Presenting Partner Policy 

  • The Board of Directors approved a Presenting Partner Policy, which was developed by the Adoption of Programs Task Force. Currently, Robotics and Clay Target are in Presenting Partnership with the League.  

9G: Region Consistency Policy 

  • The Board of Directors approved the renaming of the Region Consistency Policy to Region/Section Seeding Policy. Also updated the seeding options, tie-breaking criteria and forfeiture procedures for sections. 

9H: MSHSL Behavior Expectations 

  • The Board of Directors approved behavior guidelines and expectations directed at students and adults to be implemented by member schools. The guidance document was completed following student input through the “Together We Make A Difference” and S.A.L.T. initiatives. 

9I: Board Position Statement: DEIB Code of Conduct 

  • The Board of Directors approved a Position Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity and Belonging. The approved document is in harmony with the MSHSL Behavior Expectations and provides direction for all involved in League Activities.  

9J: Boys Volleyball Task Force 

  • The Board of Directors approved the next steps in implementing Boys Volleyball as an interscholastic program. League Staff has developed a document that guides an approved Task Force through exploration of the format, timelines and season when the activity will be played. 

Discussion Items  

10A: District Football Policy  

  • League Staff shared updates on the recent work of the District Football Committee, which includes updating reference language from 9-Man to 9-Player and the number and naming of districts.  

10B: Football State Semifinal Seeding  

  • League Staff shared information on consideration of seeding the teams in 9-Player through Class AAAAA that qualify for the semifinals played at U.S. Bank Stadium. League Staff and the Football Advisory Committee will continue to review and determine a potential timeline, if approved for implementation. This will be part of the Board Workshop in August.  

10C: 2023-2024 Preliminary Budget  

  • League Staff shared the latest projections for year-end financials and the proposed 2023-2024 budget. The League’s financial year end is July 31. 

10D: 2023-2024 Membership Dues and Activity Fees  

  • A first look at the preliminary 23-24 MSHSL Budget was given. Final action on the determination of membership dues and activities fees will be based on the 2022-2023 year-end financial report. This will be an Action Item at the August Board Meeting.  

Committee Reports  

11A: Eligibility Committee  

  • The Eligibility Committee report was approved as presented. 

11B: Audit/Finance Committee  

  • The Board of Directors approved the March 2023 and April 2023 financial statements. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the July 31, 2022 Annual Audit Report. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the July 31, 2022 Form 990 Charitable Organization Annual Report 

11C: Marketing and Communications Committee  

  • League Staff shared a draft summary of projected modifications for the 2023-2024 Media Policy Manual. The summary included defining the role of a Team Video Operator and Student Media clarifications.  
  • League Staff provided an update on Social Media engagement.  
  • League Staff provided a sponsorship update that included Midwest Dairy as the sponsor of the Triple “A” Awards. Midwest Dairy will also be a partner in coaches education and student leadership initiatives. 
  • Disability Hub MN, a presence during the Adapted Athletics State Tournaments, will expand its footprint at other events as well. 
  • The League has reached a three-year contract extension with HomeTown Ticketing  
  • League Staff shared ongoing work on a Brand Standards and Style Guide document. 

11D: Education and Leadership Committee  

  • League Staff shared updates on CER courses and that the League will have exclusive rights to InSideOut content for a three-year cycle. 
  • A Mental Health Suicide Prevention module is nearly complete. Partnering with the Max Foundation and Dr. Tim Denny for content leadership.  
  • A Concussion in Student-Athletes video has been updated with information from Dr. Bill Roberts. 
  • League Staff shared an update on S.A.L.T., which has identified 10 new members. Those new members will meet with three returning members in June. 
  • The committee approved the draft of the Behavior Expectations document. 
  • The MSHSL Officiating Consortium will meet in July. Superintendents, Principals, Activities Directors, Coaches and Officials will make up the consortium. 
  • More than 2,600 officials participated in the Officiating DEI Council survey. 
  • The Board of Directors approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation of Air Quality Guidelines.  

Informational Items: 

  • NFHS Summer Meeting: June 28-July 2, 2023, Seattle, WA 
  • New Board Member Orientation: July 11, 2023, League Office 
  • Board Workshop: July 30-31, 2023, Spicer, MN 
  • Next Board Meeting: Aug. 1, 2023, 10 a.m., Spicer, MN 
  • The meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m. 




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