As businesses and organizations centered around sports continue to assess the spread of COVID-19, more are taking action and canceling future events, practices and even entire seasons. Listed below are some of the most recent announcements affecting the Iron Range.
Minnesota State High School League
On Sunday, Governor Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-02 stating all schools will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. Due to this, the Minnesota State High School League has put a moratorium on all High School League activities and athletics at all member schools.
In a release made available Sunday morning, the League announced the stoppage of all participation including, but not limited to, training, practices scrimmages and contests effective Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. The previous MSHSL directive prohibiting contests and scrimmages between more than one school will continue until April 6.
“As COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, the MSHSL will continue to monitor the most current information and directives from the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor of Minnesota, and the Centers for Disease Control,” the release said. “The MSHSL will continue to work within the intent and support of the Emergency Executive Order and Department of Health recommendations in its actions and decisions.”
Following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Junior College Athletic Association made the decision Monday to cancel all spring competition.
“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”
The move puts an end to the Mesabi Range College baseball and softball seasons as all practices, regular season games and postseason games will no longer move forward.
The NJCAA has maintained that all spring sport student-athletes that were enrolled in a member college will not be charged a year of participation.
In addition, on- and off-campus recruiting for all sports is suspended until April 15 where further evaluations will be made.
Iron Range Engineering All-Star Games
On Friday, it was announced the Iron Range Engineering High School Basketball All-Star games had been canceled due to COVID-19.
The games, featuring the top area boys and girls senior basketball players, were originally scheduled for April 2 at Mesabi Range College.
Effective 4 p.m. on Monday, Giants Ridge has ended its ski season due to the recommendations made by the CDC in regards to COVID-19.
Anyone who has pre-purchased lift tickets online can be refunded by calling 218-865-8005 during normal hours of operation.
“We are grateful for each and every one of our valued guests and thank you all for an amazing season,” Giants Ridge said on it’s website. “We trust that each of you will continue to enjoy the great outdoors and make the very best decisions when it comes to the health and well being of you + your family + friends. We will continue you update you as other planned event dates approach. We can’t wait to host you at Giants Ridge again!”
Deer Open House
The Deer Open House scheduled for 6-8 p.m. this Wednesday at the DNR building in Tower has been canceled. In addition all other public deer meetings are canceled statewide due to precautionary measures in response to COVID-19.