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MHSA cancels Class AA non-conference competition, adjusts Class A football playoff bracket

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Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 16:44:26-04

HELENA -- The Montana High School Association executive board approved proposals Thursday to alter the Class AA and Class A fall sports seasons.

The Class AA motion to remove non-conference competition from football, volleyball, soccer and cross country passed. The board also approved limiting golf meets to one-day events.

Class AA administrators also discussed a revamped sports schedule that would have moved football to the spring. The proposal didn't gain much traction, though, as the motion was never seconded.

The board also approved the elimination of the first round of the Class A football playoffs, which trims the bracket from 12 teams to eight. The Class A postseason is now scheduled to to start the weekend of Oct. 30 with four games: The Eastern A No. 1 seed vs. the Western A No. 4 seed; the Western A No. 1 seed vs. the Eastern A No. 4 seed; the Eastern A No. 2 seed vs. the Western A No. 3 seed; and the Western A No. 2 seed vs. the Eastern A No. 3 seed.

Non-Class AA football classifications will also have the option to cancel their non-conference games, though no decisions were made as part of the Thursday meeting.

Athletes for the fall golf season were eligible to start practicing on Thursday, with Saturday slated as the first date of fall golf competition. The rest of the fall sports athletes are permitted to begin practicing on Friday, with Aug. 27 marked as the first eligible date for competition. The start of the Class AA football and volleyball seasons has been pushed back to September.

Additionally, the board adjusted its policy to require all players, coaches and officials to wear cloth facial coverings, regardless of the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county. Face coverings do not need to be worn during play.

This story will be updated.