The Mississippi High School Activities Association’s (MHSAA) executive committee decided to delay their Fall 2020 sports season by two weeks during a meeting on July 14, according to an announcement.
According to a press release, volleyball, soccer, and swimming can begin practicing on Aug. 10, and begin games on Aug. 24. Football practice is set to start on Aug. 17, scrimmages on Aug. 28, and games Sept. 4.
This decision was made in hopes that the two extra weeks will allow more time to adjust to being back in a school setting in the time of COVID-19.
“The board felt these changes will give all of us more time to try to get back into the routine of school,” said MHSAA Executive Committee President Kalvin Robinson in the announcement. “There are going to be many challenges – ones we’re anticipating and those we don’t even know about yet – in returning to on-campus learning. It’s going to be different than what we’ve experienced in the past. Hopefully pushing back the start of the Fall sports seasons will help make that transition a little smoother for everyone involved.”
While each decision posed its own challenges, the committee felt this decision was better than moving the season to the Spring. They felt that would be unfair to the coaches and players who missed out on their last Spring season.
“There’s been talk about the MHSAA flipping the fall and spring sports seasons or just moving fall sports – and specifically football – to the spring”said MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton. “But those changes would create an entirely different set of challenges and logistical issues, including an overlap with athletes, coaches and game officials … As far as swapping the Fall and Spring seasons, we’ve heard from many coaches and administrators who feel it would be unfair to ask the coaches and sports cancelled in April to turn around and play with all the challenges we’ll be facing this fall.”
The committee also felt it would be better than cancelling the Fall season altogether, because they know how important sports and other extracurriculars are. “We know how important these extracurricular activities are to the students, parents, families, schools and communities of our state,” Hinton said. We’re staying optimistic and doing everything we can to move forward for the upcoming school year.”
An updated schedule was included in the press release. Playoff and championship dates will remain the same.