The Minnesota State High School League has agreed to expand events for athletes who are disabled and allow them to score points on mixed teams.
The league has doubled the number of track and field competitions for wheelchair athletes, from three events in 2011 to six this year.
The changes are part of a settlement to a lawsuit brought by Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School student Rose Hollermann. Her attorney at the Minnesota Disability Law Center, Justin Page, said the changes will make competing more meaningful for Hollermann and others like her.
"Last year, Rose [and] wheelchair athletes were not allowed to score points for their team. It was more of an exhibition. This year she will be able to, under the settlement agreement, score points for her team," Page said. "We feel that she is fully a member of her team now."
The high school league's track and field wheelchair division is now in its second year. Page said a handful of disabled students currently compete but he hopes the league changes will encourage more to participate.
The Minnesota State High School League said the changes outlined in the settlement have been in practice for some time.