With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing on into the summer months, decisions regarding the 2020-21 high school athletic year have begun.

During a teleconference on Monday, the Mississippi High School Activities Association voted to declare all sports and activity physicals, or pre-participation physical evaluations, conducted on or after April 1, 2019 valid through May 31, 2021.

The decision eliminates the need for high school students to get a new physical this summer, since the one used for the 2019-20 school year will cover them.

Students who are entering the seventh grade, or moving to Mississippi from another state, and are planning to participate in MHSAA-sponsored activities for the first time will be required to obtain a new pre-participation exam before becoming eligible to take part in any sport or activity.

On April 15, the MHSAA suspended all sports and activities through June 1. Several sports, including basketball, baseball and soccer, use the month of June to get in extra practices and play a handful of summer games. High school football programs use the summer to participate in 7-on-7 tournaments and prepare for their preseason camps that begin in late July and early August.

A decision regarding that suspension expiring or being extended was not made on Monday, but the MHSAA executive committee is planning to meet again on May 21.

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