MHSAA hoping to avoid cancelling spring sports

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Up until this point high school sports in Mississippi have only been postponed, not cancelled.

However, given the severity of the Coronavirus there’s no telling if or when spring sports will start back up again.

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced Governor Tate Reeves extend the closure of schools until April 17.

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The Mississippi High School Activities Association mirrored that decision with the suspension of athletic activities until April 17.

Each Friday the Executive Committee of the MHSAA, MHSAA leadership and the MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee conduct a teleconference to discuss the ongoing pandemic.

The situation is fluid, but MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton continues to hope spring sports will start back up at some point.

“We continue to (discuss different) scenarios, but it looks more and more bleak every day. We’ve been hanging in there. Kids in spring sports want to have hope and that’s what we try to give them,” Hinton said.

As April 17 draws closer, Hinton said he’ll expect another statement from Reeves soon determining the next course of action. Hinton said another aspect his organization has to take into account when determining whether to resume athletic competitions is the health of the students.

Usually athletes have trained and conditioned for months prior to the start of their season.

However, after weeks of stagnation it may not be safe for athletes to jump back into the swing of things.

Athletes may not have the physical stamina or proper technique in their respective sports after the long break, which in turn could lead to injury.

This dilemma is one of many Hinton and the MHSAA face when determining the restart of spring sports.

“Safety and all of those things (are important). If school is back in (session), how long would you need to practice to acclimate and play a game?” Hinton said.

Hinton said there could be a point of no return for this seasons’ spring sports if schools aren’t reopened.

Indoor activities such as the concert band and choral competitions have been cancelled already.

If it takes too long for the pandemic to be contained or schools are cancelled through the end of the year, then there may not be a resumption of spring sports.

“We’ll get to a drop dead date where we can’t feasibly have (any sports). If (Reeves) comes out with a statement to close schools, then that would be our sign we’re not playing sports,” Hinton said.