By Adam Brown
The Mississippi High School Activities Association executive board approved its proposal for the fall schedule on Tuesday.
The MHSAA voted that football will begin practice on Aug. 17 with the first game set for Sept 4. The football playoff and championship dates are unchanged. Games scheduled for the first two weeks of the season will not be made up.
“The board felt these changes will give all of us more time to try to get back into the routine of school,” MHSAA Executive Committee President Kalvin Robinson said. “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.”
MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton supports the two-week delay as well as the board’s reasoning behind it.
“We believe this is the right decision at the right time,” Mr. Hinton said. “As we’ve said since last spring, this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation where new information can and will alter plans and schedules at any time.
“We’ve been in contact with officials from the Governor’s office and the Mississippi Department of Education. We’ve talked with sports administrators from Mississippi universities and community colleges as well as leaders from the National Federation (NFHS) and our neighboring state associations. All of us are looking for the best way to navigate these challenges and obstacles, but each us has our own challenges.
“For example, 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. 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 canceled in April to turn around and play with all the challenges we’ll be facing this fall.”
Oxford and Lafayette will play a 10-game slate with the state playoffs set for the regular time.
The Commodores head coach Michael Fair told HottyToddy.com after the news came out he was happy with the decision.
“I don’t think anyone knows what the future holds in regards to how the start of the school year will go but I am excited for our student-athletes,” Fair said. “With so much going on with our kids, at least now they feel like they have something to work for, something to look forward to.”
Class 2A, 3A, 4A will play a nine-game slate.
MHSAA also said that swim, volleyball, and cross country will start Aug. 10 with first meet/match on Aug. 24. Any meet/match lost due to delayed start can be rescheduled with permission from both school administrations. Postseason events remain the same at this time.