Short Takes: MSHSL, Target Center need to explain themselves

No sufficient reason given by MSHSL, Target Center for state tournament photography rules

On April 10, the Minnehaha boys’ basketball team won their fourth-consecutive state championship at Target Center, but neither the Talon newspaper nor the Antler yearbook took photos of the historic event. Why not? Because we’re lazy?

No, because we were denied access by the Minnesota State High School League and Target Center. MSHSL had to reduce their media passes to nine per game — and chose not to give any to schools. Student-media members were told to buy tickets and take photos from the seats.

But Target Center would not allow ticket holders to use cameras with detachable lenses, which would be the only way to get photos we could use and own copyright to. Many requests for a change of either policy were refused by both MSHSL and Target Center.


There is no adequate reason the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) gave as to why they prohibited student photographers from capturing their school’s history at the Minnesota State High School League 2021 State Tournament at the Target Center.

COVID-19 social distancing requirements would have been met due to the courtside space already made available for professional media photographers. They should have reserved a space for student photographers anyway since each school deserves the opportunity to visually record their sports team competing at the State tournament.

For most schools, having a team advance to the state tournament is not an annual feat. Especially when one of the athletes is ranked number one in the nation. Any school would want the opportunity to document that event.

In addition, Target Center also did not have any sufficient reason for prohibiting ticket holders from taking photos of the games from their seats using high-quality equipment (their general policy bans fans from using cameras with detachable lenses, based on NBA guidelines, and they refused to change the policy for high-school games).

The opportunity taken away from each school that participated in the tournament was a loss, for which each school has the right to be angry.


About Ann Oakman

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