MHSAA bumps back football start time through Sept.

Published 10:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2022

In a move that’ll cause a little more stress for everyone writing sports stories on a deadline, the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) announced this week that its executive committee had voted to have all high school football games start at 7:30 p.m. through September.

Games in October and November will revert back to the usual start time of 7 p.m.

The decision does not affect schools that play in the Mid-South Association of Independent Schools, such as Brookhaven Academy, that will still have a 7 p.m. start time all season.

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The MHSAA is making the change to better help players deal with the heat that comes with football played in Mississippi in August and September.

High school football games in Mississippi all have mandatory heat timeouts that are called by officials at the six-minute mark of each quarter.

The MHSAA has also implemented a new “mercy-rule” for the upcoming football season. If a team is leading by more than 35 points at halftime or at any point in the second half, officials will start using a running clock.

No consent from the coaches is needed and the rule is one that’s already been implemented in MAIS games as well as junior college football games in the state.

The MHSAA will use the same running-clock criteria during basketball season.