High school, youth sports in Minnesota to resume Jan. 4

The pause on youth sports in Minnesota, set to expire Friday night, will be extended for two more weeks.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that youth sports teams — from the high school level through youth leagues — can start practicing on Jan. 4 and that fitness classes will be allowed to resume on that date as well.

“We need to get kids playing again,” Walz said.

Fitness studios and gyms will be able to reopen at a quarter of their capacity, with a 100-person limit. People must wear masks and maintain 12 feet of social distancing.

The Jan. 4 start date was among three options that the Minnesota State High School League anticipated for restarting winter sports when its board met earlier this month. The other dates were Dec. 21 and Jan. 18.

Walz announced the four-week pause effective Nov. 21 to slow the community spread of COVID-19. Even before that announcement, some school districts had already postponed winter sports until after Jan. 1 because of high case levels affecting staffing and attendance.

For youth sports played outside of high school, games and tournaments are unlikely to be allowed until a later date to be determined.

An athlete will be allowed to work in a gym with a personal coach and up to two households as soon as this weekend, according to a source involved in calls among state officials and youth sports governing bodies.

A return to play plan for youth sports will likely be worked out within the next week by their governing bodies.

Check back later for more on this story.

Nick Kelly contributed to this report.

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