The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released information Wednesday about the structure of the 2020-2021 volleyball playoffs.
With the field limited to 32 teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCHSAA has modified the existing structure. The 1A playoffs will work like this:
- Conferences have been placed in either the 1A West or 1A East bracket
- There will be 16 teams in each bracket. Automatic berths will be awarded based on conference size, per usual NCHSAA guidelines
- In the 1A West, 14 of the 16 berths will go to automatic qualifiers. Two wild card berths will be available, with those based on conference winning percentage
- The NCHSAA will draw for bracket placements in random order. All #1 seeds will be drawn first, then #2 seeds, #3 seeds and wild cards.
- The NCHSAA will attempt not to pair teams from the same conference in the first round.
The Western Highlands Conference will get one automatic berth into the 1A playoffs. Polk County currently sits at 4-0 in WHC play, with Avery at 1-2 and Mitchell at 0-5.
Playoff pairings will be announced on January 9, with first-round matches set to begin on Jan. 12.