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Safety is Top Priority as Schools Plan for ‘Return to Play’ This Summer

MASS webinar focuses on restart of sports activities in Mississippi schools

JACKSON ― As school districts prepare to restart sports activities, the safety and well-being of students, athletes, fans and communities remains the top priority in all decisions involving athletics in Mississippi.

That message was clearly articulated by Mississippi High School Athletic Association Executive Director Don Hinton during the latest webinar hosted by the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents.  

Addressing a total of 367 participants — a webinar record for MASS, Hinton shared highlights about return-to-play measures for summer athletics and activities recently approved by the MHSAA Executive Committee. The policy states that school athletics and related programs can begin summer practices, workouts and related activities on June 1, pending Gov. Tate Reeves’ upcoming announcement about the reopening of all Mississippi school facilities. 

The webinar is part of MASS’ ongoing commitment to assist members as school districts begin the reopening process in the wake of closures tied to coronavirus concerns.

“Providing accurate information to school leaders is a critical priority, especially as they continue dealing with challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Dr. Phillip Burchfield, executive director of MASS. “Our weekly webinar series, ‘The Pandemic Puzzle: Solving It One Piece at a Time,’ has been an effective strategy to help schools prioritize health precautions while managing a safe transition to traditional schedules and activities.”

Additional guidelines discussed by Hinton include:

  • Athletic coaches and activity directors must confirm with their school and/or district administrators that a specific school facility is open and available for use.

  • Athletic and associated competitions among MHSAA member or non-member teams are cancelled until school resumes in the fall.

Hundreds Join MASS Webinar for ‘Return to Play’ School Sports Update

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  • All practices, workouts, skill development, weightlifting, conditioning and rehearsals are considered voluntary for student athletes and activities participants.

  • Participation in and travel to summer programs and team camps are not allowed. On-campus summer programs and camps should adhere to national, state and local COVID-19 health recommendations.

The COVID-19 Return to Activity Guidelines document is available at

The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents and the Alliance of Educational Leaders of Mississippi is a non-profit association whose membership is made up of 139 public school superintendents and more than 2,000 public school administrators.  Its mission is to provide resources, advocacy, leadership, policy information, training, support, renewal, and public relations services that improve the quality of public education. 

Learn more at

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