The Mississippi High School Activities Association is looking to beat the heat during the first half of the upcoming football season with a time adjustment.
High school varsity football games through September will begin at 7:30 p.m.
This will put teams in line with the heat timeout, and it will allow them to warm-up later in the day when the heat index begins to drop.
“I think it's wonderful,” said MPSD Athletic Director Cheyenne Trussell. “I'm in total agreement with it, simply because of the safety issue.”
“Everything that we do and MHSAA does focuses heavily on the side of safety, and you can't be too safe,” he added.
The middle school, 9th, grade and J.V games can still be played earlier, but it is suggested that schools can change these times to begin later in the afternoon as needed.
“As an athletic director, one of the main things you're always concerned about, especially this time of the year, is possibly heatstroke,” Trussell said.
“We want to make sure that we do everything we possibly can because that 30 minutes makes a difference.”
Lauderdale County Schools Athletic Director Tim Moore agreed that keeping the athletes safe in the heat is the first priority as the season kicks off.
“I believe this is a good thing to have in place,” Moore said. “We always have standard guidance to follow from the MHSAA, and if it’s something that will ensure the safety of our students, I am all for it.”
In compliance with the regulated time from the MHSAA, Moore says the district is holding up their end to ensure students stay safe.
“We make sure that we're giving them plenty of water breaks during the practices, and that our coaches are educated in the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stress.”
“I think it's critically important that we do everything we can to make sure we take care of our student athletes,” Moore added.