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The Montana High School Association executive board voted during a scheduled meeting on Tuesday to delay the start of winter sports - both practices and competition - in hopes of flattening the curve during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

The MHSA executive board approved the motion of winter sports practices in basketball and wrestling to begin on Dec. 7, with competitions beginning the first week of January.

Basketball practices were originally scheduled to begin on Nov. 19, while wrestling was to begin Nov. 21. But, as Montana continues to trend upward in positive coronarivus cases, the MHSA board hopes limiting travel and exposure can help avoid the uptick in positive cases.

The MHSA will re-evaluate its guidelines and restrictions during its annual November meeting.

The speech, debate and drama season, which had been previously postponed to December, was approved to begin its season with practices on Monday, Oct. 19. Competition will begin on Dec. 1, with meets held virtually for the time being.

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