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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis: November 30, 2023

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2023 - 1:55 PM

Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis, Feb. 4, 2021

Minnesota State High School League   

League Office, Brooklyn Center, MN 

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023    


  • Board Member Brent Schimek provided the reflection. 
  • Board President Jim Smokrovich called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.  
  • The Board of Directors approved the meeting agenda. 
  • The Board of Directors Meeting Minutes from Oct. 5, 2023, were approved. 
  • Board members reported on their experiences at state tournament events. They expressed appreciation to our teams, coaches, officials, venues and staff for their contributions in making these events happen.
  • Special recognition of outstanding sportsmanship demonstrated by many student-athletes throughout the fall season and especially noticed in the state championships.

 Lobbyist’s Report  

  • League Lobbyist Roger Aronson shared updates from the State Legislature. The 2024 Legislative Session is scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 12.

Legal Counsel Report 

  • League Counsel Kevin Beck reported progress and the next steps in two pending cases.

Executive Director’s Report 

Executive Director Erich Martens: 

  • Introduced new Board of Directors members Joe Fittante (Governor Appointee) and Jed Helwig (Regions 3AA-4AA).
  • Yielded the floor to League Staff to share reviews of fall state tournament events.
  • League Staff shared a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee update. Topics shared included Emergency Action Plans at state tournaments, protective equipment for student-athletes and the focus on Anyone Can Save a Life.
  • Shared a MSHSL Foundation Update: Form A submissions --- 295 schools; Form B submissions --- 150 applications (schools and conferences) with awards determined on December 12, 2023.
  • The League is in the final stages of signing a premier financial sponsor. When the partnership is finalized, an announcement will be made.
  • Upcoming Professional Development opportunities for League Staff:
  • 11-State Meeting, Chicago --- Dec. 1-4
  • National AD’s Conference, Orlando ---- Dec. 14-18
  • NFHS Winter Meeting, San Francisco --- Jan. 2-6, 2024
  • Let’s Connect, Chicago --- Jan. 4-5, 2024

Executive Committee Report  

Board President Jim Smokrovich reported the Executive Committee: 

  • Reviewed the tabled proposals on Basketball and Dance
  • Reviewed the FIS Alpine Skiing Rules adjustments
  • Addressed potential calendar conflicts with projected state tournament event dates in 2024-2025.
  • Denied an appeal of the placement recommendation that Lester Prairie be placed into the Tomahawk Conference and advanced the MSHSL Conference Placement Committee’s recommendation to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • Discussed the potential implementation steps and timeline of bringing all ninth-grade participation under the governance of the Minnesota State High School League.  
  • Approved an additional game waiver for teams that compete against Cloquet/Carlton/Esko in Boys Lacrosse.
  • Approved the expense for the annual Employee Recognition Luncheon on Dec. 21, 2023.
  • The Board of Directors approved an adjustment to maximum daily limits for wrestling to align with NFHS rules that moves from five matches per day to six matches per day. This adoption approval is effective this current wrestling season.

Action Items 

9A: Belief Statement: Regional Representation  

  • The Board of Directors approved a MSHSL Belief Statement that solidifies a commitment to regional representation at state tournament events. It reads:

Consistent with the organizational structure of the League, state-level postseason participation shall recognize and support opportunities for participants and teams from all geographic regions of the state.

9B: Tabled Proposals 

  • The Board of Directors denied recently tabled Winter Advisory Committee proposals for Girls and Boys Basketball and Dance Team. With the recent approval of a Team State Tournament Seeding Policy on Oct. 5, 2023, those proposals can be re-submitted this season for potential implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.

9C: Alpine Skiing FIS Rule Change

9D: Conference Placement 

  • The Board of Directors approved a recommendation by the MSHSL Conference Placement Committee to place Central High School of Norwood Young America into the Wright County Conference beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.
  • The Board of Directors approved a recommendation by the MSHSL Conference Placement Committee to place Lester Prairie in the Tomahawk Valley Conference beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.

Discussion Items 

10A: Together in Partnership Student Statewide Conference 

  • League Staff shared that final preparations are underway for the MSHSL Together in Partnership Student Statewide Conference to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The leadership of MSHSL Student Advisory and Leadership Team, the schedule of the day, the keynote speakers and the desired outcomes of the event were shared.

10B: Fall Activity Proposals 

  • Football --- The Football Advisory Committee is seeking a seeding process that covers Class Nine-Player through Class AAAAA in two geographic halves of Minnesota for the state quarterfinals and then cross bracketing the higher and lower seed from each half for the semifinals.
  • Soccer ---- The Soccer Advisory Committee is seeking to adjust the process for a suspended game during the postseason, namely that a contest be continued from the point of suspension.
  • Girls Tennis ---- The Girls Tennis Advisory Committee is seeking to expand to a third enrollment classification. If approved, implementation would for the 2025-2026 school year following the established competitive section placement schedule.
  • Girls Volleyball ---- The Volleyball Advisory Committee is seeking to seed Nos. 1-8 for all classes beginning in the 2024-2025 school year.

10C: Representative Assembly Proposals

  • Bylaw 208.02 Gymnastics --- This proposal seeks to provide an opportunity for school gymnastics coaches to coach their student-participants during the school year, but outside of the established season.
  • Bylaw 522.07 Dance Team --- This proposal seeks to move tryouts for dance from the current spring tryout period to the first part of the approved winter season. If approved, it would create consistency with other League activities.

Note: These proposals will be presented to the 16 administrative regions for review and votes to determine if the proposals will advance to the Representative Assembly. A minimum of nine administrative regions must vote in favor of each proposal to advance to the Representative Assembly, which is Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

Committee Reports 

11A: Eligibility Committee 

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

11B: Audit/Finance Committee 

  • The Board of Directors approved the September 2023 and October 2023 Financial Statements.
  • The committee shared that fall paid attendance showed an increase of more than 32,000 during state tournament events. The Cross Country State Meet had attendance of more than 9,500 in its return to Les Bolstad University of Minnesota Golf Course.
  • The Board of Directors approved the Audit/Finance Committee report as presented.

11C: Marketing and Communications Committee

League Staff shared:

  • Updates on discussions and explorations with the League’s credentialing vendor with the creation of access passes.
  • The League’s Hall of Fame Class of 2024 has been announced and the promotion of that class and the induction ceremony on April 14, 2024, will continue.
  • Updates on Social Media engagement were shared.
  • Updates on corporate sponsorship, including onsite engagement with the Minnesota State Troopers and Prairie Farms. Midwest Dairy is the new sponsor of the Triple A recognition program.

11D: Education and Leadership 

  • The committee received updates on the “Together in Partnership” statewide event on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.
  • With the implementation of the shot clock in Girls and Boys Basketball, resources are available to member schools.
  • League Behavior Expectations Tool Kits are available to member school administrators on their dashboards in a digital format.


  • Virtual Board Workshop, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, 2 p.m.
  • Next In-Person Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, 9:30 a.m. 
  • The meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m. 

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