Our State Governing Body is the Missouri State High School Activities Association known as MSHSAA.

They help regulate rules, safety, eligibility, records, officials and State Tournaments just to name a few.

More information about MSHSAA can be found below and the link to their website is:


The following Mission Statement was adopted by the membership in the 1994 Annual Election: “MSHSAA promotes the value of participation, sportsmanship, team play, and personal excellence to develop citizens who make positive contributions to their community and support the democratic principles of our state and nation.”


The Constitution and By-Laws have been adopted by the MSHSAA member schools to define the operation and organization of the unincorporated, voluntary, private, not for profit association. Delegation of authority is defined as well as the essential requirements for membership, participation and all minimum and maximum requirements for schools and students. The Constitution and By-Laws apply to MSHSAA member schools and the bona fide students of the member schools.


Missouri was late in forming a state high school association. Only three states, exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii, formed associations later. Much had preceded the initiating of an association in Missouri. Schools had formed conferences or leagues and conference agreements governing eligibility and regulations of interscholastic events had been adopted. Most of these steps were taken in an attempt to control abuses that were creeping into the interscholastic program.

The following excerpt is taken from a “History of the Association” prepared by Mr. Carl Burris, first secretary of the Missouri State High School Athletic Association, which appeared in the first Official MSHSAA Handbook published in 1927:

“The formation of a State High School Athletic Association had been in the minds of many school men prior to 1925. The writer does not know if any attempts had been made to get a meeting in which all sections of the state were represented but several individuals had given some attention to getting the matter before the State in a general way. At least one high school Principal sent circular letters to high schools in the state in 1925. Were it possible to mention all names of men who did the promotion work we would gladly do so. That would be our honor roll. Since the list would be incomplete, because of lack of information, it is better to pass on to definite things. This much is known, Missouri was late in forming a State Athletic Association. Our neighboring states were ahead of us. They pioneered and we profited by their experiences.

On November 13, 1925, a group of representatives from Missouri high schools had a meeting in the Hotel Statler, St. Louis. A temporary organization was made and a constitutional convention called to meet in St. Louis on December 12, 1925. Many district, county or city organizations were represented at the December meeting. The following men formed the constitution in its original form:

W. T. Doherty, Cape Girardeau D. W. Hopkins, St. Joseph H. R. Shepherd, Kansas City C. C. Conrad, Charleston Uel W. Lampkin, Maryville Coach G. Henry, Columbia Dr. H. S. Curtis, Jefferson City J. D. Deaton, Butler W. F. Byers, Carthage T. C. Reid, Warrensburg H. N. McCall, Carterville O. G. Sanford, Trenton C. O. Williams, Jefferson City Carl Burris, Clayton

Seven hours were used in discussion and voting before the constitution was completed. The Board of Control as elected at the meeting on December 12 was the same as is now serving the State Association.

As provided in the original constitution the acceptance or rejection of that document was left to the decision of the Superintendents in Columbia, on February 3 and 4, 1926. On February 4, 1926 the constitution was adopted by them without opposition. Vandalia High School was the first school to join the Association.”

The records show that 472 schools joined the association by the close of the 1926-27 school year. The report also states, “Athletic relations have been somewhat unified. It is believed that they have been raised generally to a higher plane through uniform eligibility rules which have been conscientiously followed.”

Until 1948, MSHSAA was an athletic association. In the annual election of that year, the name was officially changed to Missouri State High School Activities Association, effective September 1, 1949. Provision was made in the Constitution to allow other contest areas to be included as a part of the association program.

An amendment to include music, voted on in March 1949, failed to carry the necessary two-thirds majority and lost by a vote of 276 to 143. In the annual November 1950 election, Article IX to include music in the MSHSAA program was approved by a vote of 313 to 124. An amendment to provide supervision over debate under Article X was also adopted in the same election by a vote of 307 to 121. The latter was again amended in 1959 to apply to all speech activities, effective with the 1960 contests.

MSHSAA, like the state high school associations in other states, has experienced an evolutionary growth. Attention was first given to the control of abuses and regulation of activities. This emphasis was later to change to the giving of consideration to the formulation of standards to guide interscholastic programs. The Board of Control in 1956 adopted a long range, comprehensive program to improve high school activities as a means of better educating boys and girls. Procedures and techniques to implement the program have been developed as a continuous part of the MSHSAA program. In 1987-88 the Board of Control was renamed as the Board of Directors to more accurately reflect this body’s purposes to guide and direct the interscholastic activities programs.

MSHSAA was first housed with MSTA. In 1970 the member schools approved the building of an office in Columbia with 13,000 square feet. In 2001 the offices were moved to a new building constructed for MSHSAA totaling 26,000 square feet. MSHSAA continues to have Columbia as its home base.

This is a brief historical sketch of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. In its final analysis it is an organization of schools through which they work cooperatively in formulating standards that help ensure that the interscholastic activities will remain an integral part of the total secondary educational program.