The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has delayed the start of the fall sports season until at least September 1.
The NCHSAA announced Wednesday that its Board of Directors approved three rule and calendar changes:
- The start of NCHSAA fall sports is delayed until at least September 1
- The first five (5) student days of the 2020-2021 school year will be designated as a dead period for ALL sports, allowing school staff to focus on the start of school
- NCHSAA Phase One of the summer conditioning and workouts will continue until further notice.
The decision came after Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that public schools would be allowed to reopen on August 17, but with in-person attendance limited to no more than 50 percent of students at any one time. Districts can also opt to go fully remote.
“For now, we believe these steps provide hope for our student athletes, and the possibility for playing fall sports,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “We know that many decisions are being made relative to the reopening plan your schools will follow.
“After each (local school district) has had an opportunity to formalize and finalize those reopening plans, the NCHSAA staff will survey the membership to determine how sports should and/or can fit into the various models that will exist across the state. Please understand this delayed start date is not ‘in cement’ and can be delayed even further if we do not have improved data from (Department of Health and Human Services), or some other reason exists for delaying further into September or beyond.
“We acknowledge that playing certain sports are more problematic at any time without a vaccine; however, we remain in consultation with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) members, and they believe we can and should offer a sports program, with all necessary modifications, delays, etc. In the coming weeks, we will continue working with the SMAC as we plan our next steps for the fall, as well as determining when equipment could be shared — i.e. balls — and/or if we can move into Phase 2 of the summer workouts/conditioning.”