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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 10/2/2013 2:24:20 PM

The MSHSL board of directors, which meets six times a year, will gather Thursday at MSHSL headquarters in Brooklyn Center for its October meeting. The agenda includes a wide variety of topics, but football and soccer are likely to garner the post-meeting headlines.

The board is expected to finalize sites and dates for the state football playoffs in 2014 and 2015. The University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium will host the Prep Bowl games during those two seasons while a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis is under construction. The state football semifinals, however, will not be played at TCF Bank Stadium, as they were at the Metrodome (and will continue this season before the Metrodome is torn down). Instead, semifinals will be played at various sites, just as state quarterfinal games have been played. Those sites are usually college stadiums as well as high school stadiums with large seating and parking capacities.

The board also will hear about proposed dates and sites for the state soccer tournament in 2014 and 2015. Just like football, state soccer semifinals and finals have been played at the Metrodome. St. Cloud State’s Husky Stadium is expected to become the home of state soccer during construction of the new Vikings stadium. The board will not take any action on this topic Thursday, but is expected to do so at its next meeting on Dec. 5.

Another discussion item on the agenda is a possible change in the format for regular-season football scheduling. As many schools across the state continue to struggle in filling their eight-game regular-season schedules, alternatives have been sought. Having football teams play the teams in their sections during the regular season has been suggested and studied, but it has not garnered strong support from football coaches and administrators state-wide.
The board will hear a proposal to maintain the current structure of football classes -- from nine-man to 6A – while grouping schools into scheduling “pods” in order to make it easier for teams to fill their schedules. Each pod could consist of 12 or 14 or 16 teams, with the schools in each pod coming together to decide who would play who during the regular season.

In some cases, current conferences could remain largely intact under this plan and traditional rivalries could continue. Many schools – especially outside the metro area – are already in football-only conferences. During meetings with activity administrators from every high school in the the state in recent weeks, the “pod” proposal received more support than going to section football scheduling.

The board will not take action on changing the structure of regular-season football at Thursday’s meeting. That topic is on the discussion section of the agenda, and approval (or denial) of such a plan could not happen until the December meeting at the earliest. If approved, a new plan would take effect beginning with the 2014 football season.

Among other items, the board of directors also will hear a proposal for an MSHSL partnership with the Minnesota High School Press Association and receive an update on conference placement for several schools.

Here are the action items on Thursday’s agenda:

--Board of Directors Goals for 2013-2014
--Football Tournament Dates and Sites for 2014-2015
--Hearing Procedure
--Championship Baseball Date(s)
--Tournament Site Contracts for 2014-2018
--Conference Placement for Columbia Heights, Fridley, Irondale, Spring Lake Park, and Totino-Grace

And here are the discussion items:
--Soccer Tournament Dates and Sites for 2014-2015
--Football Format and Related Issues
--Journalism Partnership with Minnesota High School Press Association (MHSPA)
--Request from Hendricks High School

The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. I will provide live updates on Twitter … follow @MSHSLjohn


*Schools/teams John has visited: 71
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 3,649
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John onTwitter: @MSHSLjohn


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