Athletes at Belle Plaine Public Schools will begin practice for winter sports on Monday, Jan. 4. 

“It will be a very interesting season with many changing parts, requiring flexibility across the board,” said Activities Director John Bergs. 

Bergs said that even with the changes in place, coaches and athletes are still excited to get the season started.

Students and coaches will be required to wear masks at all times during practices and games. The Minnesota Department of Health did list some exceptions for wrestling, water sports, and stunt work in gymnastics and dance.

Bergs also said that “pods” with a maximum of 25 people will be enforced. The Minnesota Department of Health recommended that students only practice and play with members of their own pod to limit the potential for the spread of COVID-19.

“Pods must either practice in physically separate rooms, facilities, or areas, or steps must be taken to ensure that pods are kept separated by a distance of no less than 12 feet at all times,” said the Minnesota Department of Health in its COVID-19 sports guidelines.

Bergs said that scheduling practices and games has been particularly difficult with the new requirements and limited space.

“However, we are very excited to get started and make the very best of the opportunity provided us,” he said.

Games are set to begin in two weeks.  Girls basketball will tip off against Jordan on Jan. 14 at home and boys basketball will play Jordan on Jan. 15 at home. Wrestlers will compete in Jordan on both Jan. 14 and Jan. 15.

The dance team can begin competitions on Jan. 14, but Bergs said their schedule is still in flux.

Fans and concessions will not be permitted at games at this time.

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