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Officials go over rules at annual district meeting

By By Brian Craig Robinson / special to The Star
August 3, 2002
More than 110 high school coaches and officials gathered at Ross Collins Vocational Center Thursday afternoon to discuss numerous topics including new rules, interpretations of standard rules, and many other issues to guarantee Mississippi continues to present some of the finest high school athletics in the south.
Conducted by the Mississippi High School Activities Association, Larry Thomas and James Vance resided over in-depth seminars that covered everything from the legal size of a softball bat to the guidelines for eligibility for high school athletes, but the most resounding theme of the annual seminar dealt with the obligation of coaches and officials to teach discipline and teamwork in a positive setting while emphasizing the responsibility of the coaches and officials to act as positive role models for Mississippi's youth.
During the meeting, Willie Yerrell was honored for 47 years of officiating Mississippi high school football. Yerrell was honored with a plaque and a hearty applause from his peers at the annual conference. Howard Beeland receiving the same support for being named official of the year.
Also, with an emphasis on safety, Thomas and Vance discussed precautionary issues dealing with foul weather (lightning) and extreme heat (exhaustion/heat strokes). Vance noted the death of Korey Stringer (Minnesota Vikings) and others that collapsed on the football field as examples of reasons to take extreme caution to assure players are properly hydrated. Special heat' time-outs will be given on a quarterly basis during football games to help offset the severely high temperatures of early football season.

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