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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis, Oct. 6, 2022

Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 2:54 PM

Board of Directors Synopsis

Minnesota State High School League  

Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis  

League Office, Brooklyn Center, MN   

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022   



  • Board member Jeanna Lilleberg provided the reflection.  

  • Board President Troy Stein called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. 

  • The Board of Directors approved the consent agenda.  

  • The Board of Directors approved the meeting minutes of Aug. 2, 2022. 

  • Board Member M. Denarvise Thornton, Jr., the Region 3AA-4AA representative, shared that the Saint Paul Cup soccer matches will be played Friday, Oct. 7 at Alliance Field in St. Paul. St. Paul Harding and St. Paul Washington Technology Magnet School will play the boys game at 5:30 p.m., followed by a girls match between those two schools at 7:30 p.m.  

Lobbyist Report  

  • League Lobbyist Roger Aronson provided an update from the State Legislature. The upcoming election and significant new membership in the Legislature will be a major theme.   

Legal Counsel Report  

  • Legal Counsel Kevin Beck reported no pending litigation.   

Executive Director’s Report  

  • Executive Director Erich Martens:  

  • Welcomed Playfly representative Josh Anderson, who started work with the League on Sept. 12.  

  • Attended the Section 5 Meeting from Aug. 30-Sept. 2, hosted by the Nebraska School Activities Association in Lincoln, Neb. Also in attendance were NFHS Leaders Karissa Niehoff and Davis Whitfield, along with NFHS Board President Sally Marquez and Rochester Century (Minn.) Director of Bands Amanda Kaus, a NFHS Board Member, representing Sections 5 and 8. Six executive directors from surrounding states were also in attendance. 

  • The League’s Fall Area Meetings took place over three weeks in September at nine locations throughout Minnesota. The League thanks all who attended and are grateful for the work and preparation of activities administrators and other administrative staff. 

  • The League’s Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Committee met on Thursday, Sept. 29. The committee is focused on a strategic approach to the school year focused on actions to educate the committee, educate our membership and take action to expand our actions to increase the work in the DEIB space.  The committee will engage in a book study with “8 Ways to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for All.”  

  • The NFHS has provided member state associations the opportunity and responsibility to select the number of weight classes it would like to have for both males and females. The options are 12, 13 or 14 weight classes. The League, in collaboration with the Wrestling Coaches Advisory Committee, will survey member schools that host wrestling to provide their preferences to the League. The survey will take place in October and November. Any changes would be implemented for the 2023-2024 school year. Updated information will be shared at the December Board of Directors meeting.  

Executive Committee Report 

  • Board President Troy Stein reported:  

  • The committee reviewed two Eligibility Appeals in accordance with the process outlined in Bylaw 111. Based on additional information provided to the committee, varsity eligibility was granted to both. 

  • The committee approved recommending a change in dates for the Alpine Skiing State Meet. The Alpine Skiing State Meet will be Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at Giants Ridge near Biwabik. The Nordic Skiing State Meet will be at the same venue on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, Feb. 16. The Board of Directors affirmed that decision in a unanimous voice vote. 

  • The committee received an update on the hiring process to fill the vacant Administrative Assistant position. 

  • The committee approved the Strategic Directions 2022-2023 document as presented. 

The Strategic Directions are:  

  • Supporting schools and students in health, safety and wellness initiatives;  

  • Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in all aspects of the MSHSL programs and processes; 

  • Enhancing communication methods and systems to more effectively meet the needs of our students, schools, and communities. 

Legal Counsel Kevin Beck provided information on the increase in requests for media rights to use video of both section and state level competitions. Those rights are protected through the League’s policies, as well as contracts with broadcast partner 45TV and streaming partner School Space Media. 

Action Items 

9A: Spring Activity Advisory Proposals 

  • Baseball --- A proposal to increase the number of regular-season games in Baseball and Softball from 20 to no more than 24 was denied by the Board of Directors. The four additional games, per the proposal, were intended to be played on Friday nights, Saturday or when Member Schools have mutual days off from school.  

  • Softball --- A proposal to increase the number of regular-season games in Baseball and Softball from 20 to no more than 24 was denied by the Board of Directors. The four additional games, per the proposal, were intended to be played on Friday nights, Saturday or when Member Schools have mutual days off from school.  

  • Clay Target --- The Board of Directors approved a proposal to add a girls-only division to the individual competition of the Clay Target State Meet. The approved proposal keeps the top 100 open competition participants and adds an additional 25 female participants that would compete in a girls-only individual division. 

  • Music --- The Board of Directors approved a proposal to include Guitar as a specific category for music contests. The proposal adds Guitar in these events: Guitar Solo, Guitar Ensemble (2-4 participants); Guitar Ensemble (5-16 participants) and Guitar Orchestra (8-30 participants). 

  • Speech --- The Board of Directors approved two proposals in Speech. The first will allow body contact during the introduction of Duo Interpretation participants. Examples include shaking hands or a dance move. The second proposal allows participants In the Extemporaneous Speaking category to use computers and the internet to conduct research during the preparation period.  

9B: Approved Music List 

  • The Board of Directors approved a proposal that was a recommendation from the Music Advisory Committee to update the Approved Music List for Band for section contests. The updated list now includes an increase in representation of diversity in composers and musical selections and is more representative of the evolution of today’s educational music.  

9C: Cross County Eligible Officials 

  • The Board of Directors approved the submission of a bylaw amendment which would require the use of at least one eligible official in varsity cross country running meets. The approved amendment proposal moves to the Administrative Regions for review, and if the required number of regions approve, it will advance to the Representative Assembly for consideration on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. 

9D: Timeline for Competitive Section Placement and District Football 

  • The Board of Directors approved a timeline for the Competitive Section Placement process and District Football Placement for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school years. This is an every-other-year process.  

9E: Advisory Proposal Form 

  • The Board of Directors approved the latest draft of the Activity Advisory Proposal process. This updated form will assist Activity Advisories in the information-gathering process and aim to ensure the impacted stakeholders are included in the process.   

Discussion Items 

10A: Adoption of Programs Task Force 

  • An update was shared by Board of Directors Vice President Jim Smokrovich, the principal at East Ridge High School, on the Adoption of Programs Task Force. This task force is defining a process for emerging activities and sports and is charged with providing a recommended process to the Board of Directors prior to the Board Meeting on Dec. 1, 2022. 

10B: Together We Make a Difference 

  • League Staff and Board of Directors members shared feedback from the initiative “Together We Make a Difference” regional meetings that have taken place over the past month. More than 1,500 students from more than 150 member schools have participated in these listening and learning sessions led by Forbes Solutions. Participants will be invited to a statewide event that is scheduled for November.  

Committee Reports 

11A: Eligibility Committee 

  • The Eligibility Committee report was approved as presented. 

11B: Audit/Finance Committee 

  • The Board of Directors approved the July 2022 and August 2022 financial statements. 

11C: Marketing and Communications Committee 

  • Josh Anderson, Playfly GM and member of the MSHSL Team, was welcomed to the committee. 

  • League Staff provided an update on updated Media Policy Language that further defines rights fees at the section tournament level. The committee approved the updated language for the Media Policy Manual.  

  • League Staff shared a sponsorship update that included ongoing relationship-building, along with Playfly, as they meet with national and local companies. 

  • League Staff has conducted state tournament site visits in preparation for apparel sales during state tournament events. 

  • League Staff shared an update from the nine Fall Area Meetings when technology sessions were held and information provided on media, publications and communications from the League. 

  • League Staff shared a website development update from Gravity Works, the League’s website partner, which includes the creation of on-demand resources. 

11D: Education and Leadership Committee 

  • League Staff shared an update on the selection process of state tournament officials for Soccer and Volleyball that took place this week. The selection of Football officials for the state tournament will be next week.  

  • League Staff shared an update on the League’s Student Advisory and Leadership Team (SALT). The newly-formed council will provide student voice to many topics while developing student leaders. Applications are available on the League’s website. 

  • League Staff shared that Continuing Education content will be further defined and prepared for approval at the December Board Meeting. 

Information Items 

  • Board of Directors Workshop: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 

  • Next Board of Directors Meeting: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022 

  • The meeting was adjourned at 12:18 p.m. 


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MSHSL Quickie Quiz --- October 2022