The N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announces today that following Governor Roy Cooper’s move to Phase 2.5, guidelines for high school sports have been updated too.
For the majority of sports, playoff schedules will decrease by one round this school year, with a 50-percent reduction in the number of teams that qualify. Football playoffs will be subdivided into two 16-team tournaments for each classification.
All other team sports will feature a 32-team state postseason.
The football state playoffs will begin Friday, April 16 and culminate in early May.
The NCHSAA increased the season limitation from 10 to 14 meets for swimming, cross-country, and track & field.
Tennis and wrestling will not have dual team playoffs this school year however, there will be individual regional and state tournaments for both sports.
The NCHSAA said the guidance, in response to Phase 2.5 of reopening, uses a phased approach for NCHSAA athletes and is intended “to help school administrators, coaches, parents, students, and communities navigate a gradual reopening of high school athletic activities.”
NCHSAA also announced that Maxpreps rankings will not be used for seeding this school year and instead the NCHSAA will be returning to predetermined brackets in an effort to minimize travel for teams in the postseason.
According to the newly released guidelines, conferences with 1-6 teams will be given one automatic bid to the postseason. Conferences with 7-8 teams will receive two auto bids, and leagues with more than nine teams will get three postseason bids. Conference winning percentage will determine wildcard teams.
In addition to the updated postseason, new guidelines in North Carolina now allow a maximum of 25 people at indoor gatherings and a maximum of 50 people at outdoor gatherings. New guidelines from the NCHSAA for skill development workouts are in line with the state’s new protocols.
The decision to hold Fall sports varies from state to state and even district to district. Maxpreps compiled a list of all 50 states and where they stand in terms of holding sports this school year.