The Mississippi High School Activities Association has released guidelines and rules for fall sports competition.

General guidelines were posted on the MHSAA website on Tuesday, as well as more specific guidelines for each fall sport – cross country, football, swimming and volleyball.

In an effort to mitigate transmission of COVID-19, several health and social distancing measures have been established by the MHSAA, such as hand sanitizer stations and a mask requirement for fans.

Football season is set to start Sept. 3 and 4, two weeks later than originally scheduled.

Being a high-contact sport, football will be the trickiest road to navigate. To help maintain social distancing, the team box on each sideline will be extended to the 10-yard line in each direction.

Players must remain six feet apart at all times while on the sidelines.

Footballs must be cleaned and sanitized throughout the contest, and ball holders must maintain social distancing of six feet.

Players are allowed to wear cloth face coverings on the field.

Charged timeouts may be extended to two minutes in length. Players and coaches involved in the timeout conference must stay between the 9-yard marks.

Pregame and postgame handshakes will not be allowed.

Among the general guidelines for fall sports:

• The size of a facility should be large enough to allow for social distancing.

• All game-day personnel should be screened for COVID-19 prior to working the event.

• When possible, team bench areas should accommodate social distancing and should be only for essential personnel.

• Concession stand workers must wear masks and gloves.

• Only the clock operator and public address announcer are allowed in the press box.

Seasons for cross country, swimming and volleyball are slated to begin on Aug. 24.


Twitter: @bradlocke

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