The Montana High School Association announced several changes to the 2020 fall sports season on Thursday, following a meeting by their executive board. However they have not elected to move football to the spring, despite many Class AA athletic directors expressing a desire to do so. The board has approved the allowance of each classification/district/division to cancel all of their non-conference games this season, if they so choose to. It has also approved the request for Class A football to reduce its playoff bracket from 12 teams to 8 teams. The MHSA also voted to require masks for all coaches, players and officials no matter the number of active cases in the county or counties involved in the competition. Masks will not be required during play but will be required on the bench. The board has also outlined protocol for dealing with positive COVID courses during the sporting season, stating: “Any MHSA activity participant who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 cannot return to play until he/she is evaluated by a licensed health care professional, and has written clearance to return to play by both the county health department and a licensed health care professional.” It seems the biggest question mark remaining for high school sports in Montana this fall is centered around Class AA football following the MHSA’s decision to not entertain the proposal that the season be moved to the spring. That proposal was created by a majority of Class AA athletic directors who feel that they will not be able to meet the 50-person limit on activities set in Gov. Steve Bullock’s reopening plan for Montana.
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