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MHSAA cancels spring football, plus archery and band championships

The first major events on the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s spring calendar have been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The MHSAA on Friday announced that it has canceled the state archery championships, concert band championships, and Mississippi Choral Arts Festival and State Choral Performance Assessments.

The spring football practice period was also canceled.

In a statement, the MHSAA said its executive committee will consider adding an additional week of preseason practice before the 2020 football season.

The various championship events were all scheduled for March and April, and could not be made up due to scheduling and logistical issues, the MHSAA said.

The MHSAA has not yet canceled its seasons or playoffs for the spring sports of baseball, softball, tennis, golf and track and field, although competition and practice in those sports has now been suspended until April 17.

Previously, the MHSAA had suspended all activities until March 29. The hiatus was extended when Gov. Tate Reeves on Thursday ordered all of Mississippi’s schools closed until April 17.

The new date will likely wipe out most of the regular season for high school sports. The track and field postseason is scheduled to begin on April 6, and golf on April 20. The baseball and softball playoffs are scheduled to begin the week of April 27.

The MHSAA has not announced whether it will change its postseason structure if competition is able to resume on April 17.

“Our MHSAA Executive Committee and MHSAA Sports Medicine Committee were in accordance with an extension until April 17,” MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton said in a statement. “Like many state high school associations around the South and throughout the nation, the MHSAA will continue to monitor and evaluate this situation as we move into the month of April. But as long as schools remain closed on a statewide basis, return to competition and practice will not be an option.”

The Mid-South Association of Independent Schools has said it is continuing a week-to-week approach when it comes to closures and athletics, to provide flexibility if the situation improves.

The MAIS initially closed all of its schools through March 20, but on Thursday extended that for an additional week. The MAIS’ next conference call on whether to reopen or remain closed will be held on March 26.