No way of knowing when spring sports will resume

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 9, 2020

The uncertainty of when or if sports will resume this spring has had a major impact on high school programs across the state and put the Mississippi High School Activities Association in a situation where a lack of information prevents it from making the next move.

MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton said there is still hope for spring sports to resume, but the outbreak of COVID-19 must be under control before such a decision could be made.

“If for some reason it hit its peak in April, then in May they could have practices for a period of time, play a few games and have senior night. But if school isn’t back it’s all over,” Hinton said.

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While some college athletes will be given an extra year of eligibility due to the cancellation of their seasons, high school athletes don’t have that option.

If a cancellation were to come down from the MHSAA, then seniors would have played their final high school game.

The uncertainty is making the decision even harder on the MHSAA.

“It’s a difficult situation right now for us. It’s just a wait and see (situation) with spring sports and everything else will fall in line,” Hinton said.

To keep clear lines of communication as the organization progresses through these unprecedented times, weekly teleconferences are held between the MHSAA Executive Committee and the MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.

Funding will be a major issue for some spring sport programs because those teams are losing out on sponsorships, concession sales and gate receipts.

The schools will seek help in order to make up those lost funds but Hinton said he’s not sure where the help will come from.

“I doubt there are any federal or state dollars for extra curricular activities. It’s going to affect everybody. We’ll wait and see how that works,” Hinton said.

To save some money, Hinton said some programs might change the way they go about scheduling opponents.

That change could possibly entail decreasing the number of opponents and the amount of travel for each game, which would save programs money as they try to recoup the financial losses.

“Those are things administrators will have to look at and we’ll have guidance,” Hinton said.