Photo courtesy of Keith Warren/MHSAA
The Mississippi High School Activities Association has announced that slow-pitch softball, which recently held its 2019 championships, has been discontinued, effective immediately.
The MHSAA’s Executive Committee — made up of 15 school administrators from throughout the state — made its decision earlier this month.
The MHSAA cited dwindling participation as the reason behind its decision, stating that approximately 75 of the MHSAA’s 248 high schools competed in slow-pitch in the fall 2019 season, down significantly from the more than 160 schools that signed up to participate six years ago. Meanwhile, 214 schools have signed up to participate in fast-pitch softball in Spring 2020.
“Fast-pitch softball has continued to grow and has become one of our largest sports in terms of participation for our schools,” MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton said. “More and more girls and young ladies are focusing exclusively on fast-pitch, which is played on the college level. Those changes are reflected in many schools discontinuing slow-pitch even before the state association reached this point.
Hinton went on to say that while slow-pitch softball has declined, volleyball has grown.
“The growth of volleyball, which is also a fall sport, has paralleled the decline in participation with slow-pitch. The MHSAA expanded from three to four classifications in volleyball this year to accommodate a number of our schools that have added the sport in the past few years. We are expecting even more to do so in the near future.”