With cases of COVID-19 spiking in many parts of the state, The Montana High School Association voted on Tuesday to delay both practices and competition for winter sports.

According to Montana Sports, The MHSA executive board moved winter sports practices in basketball, swimming and wrestling to begin on Dec. 7. Competitions will be delayed  until the beginning of January.

The board also voted to change its spectator policy for the upcoming postseasons in football, soccer and volleyball to the following for both home & visiting teams:

  • Up to a maximum of six spectator passes per uniformed player
  • Up to a maximum of four spectator passes for each alternate and manager
  • Up to a maximum of two spectator passes for members of the coaching staff
  • Up to a maximum of two spectator passes for each cheerleader up to 12 total cheerleaders.

The changes are pending approval by local health boards. Bands and sections for students are not permitted at playoff events.

For the upcoming volleyball playoffs, no changes were put into effect. It appears, though, that the State Volleyball Tournament usually held at The Brick at Montana State will not take place this year due to local health restrictions. A new venue has not been decided upon.

The Montana High School Association Executive Director Mark Beckman told 406Sports.com that he believes fall sports was a success and that he's "very optimistic,” and "with how well our fall has gone so far," Beckman said, "I think we can do the same for winter for sure. This delay will give us the time to monitor everything and keep a closer eye on it.”
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