NCHSAA: There will be sports, just an amended schedule 

by Aug 12, 2020SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi





Despite COVID-19, high school student-athletes will be able to participate in sports this year, but it will be under a much different schedule than usual.  North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) officials announced the amended schedules during a Facebook live session on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 12.  

(Graphic courtesy of NCHSAA)

The NCHSAA Board of Directors approved the amended schedule plan during a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 11.  “Please keep in mind that these proposed dates are dependent on COVID-19 conditions improving across North Carolina,” Que Tucker, NCHSAA commissioner, said during Wednesday’s press conference.  “However, last night, the Board of Directors approved a framework we believe maximizes the opportunities for students in our membership to participate in athletics at some point during this school year, regardless of what plan a school and/or school system operates.”  

Following Wednesday’s announcement, Sean Ross, Cherokee Central Schools athletic director, told the One Feather, “First and foremost, we must keep the health and safety of our athletes and community top of mind.  From that perspective, this time frame and minimization of exposure provides us some level of insurance.  But, coming from the perspective of these kids that I get to see working their tails off every day, hanging onto the slim hopes of a return to normalcy in their sports lives, I can’t help but be a little saddened.”  

He added, “To say, ‘at least they get to play…’ is true enough, but I can’t help but feel that their experience is slightly compromised.”  

Following is the amended schedule, per the NCHSAA, including sport, season competition range, and length of regular season: 

* Cross Country – Nov. 16, 2020 to Jan. 8, 2021 (10-meet limit) 

* Volleyball – Nov. 16, 2020 to Jan. 8, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Swimming/Diving – Dec. 7, 2020 to Jan. 30, 2021 (10-meet limit) 

* Basketball – Jan. 4 to Feb. 19, 2021 (14-game limit) 

* Lacrosse (Men’s/Women’s) – Jan. 25 to March 12, 2021 (14-game limit) 

* Soccer (Men’s) – Jan. 25 to March 12, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Football – Feb. 26 to April 9, 2021 (7-game limit) 

* Golf (Men’s/Women’s) – March 15 to April 30, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Soccer (Women’s) – March 15 to April 30, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Softball – March 15 to April 30, 2021 (14-game limit) 

* Tennis (Men’s) – March 15 to April 30, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Baseball – April 26 to June 11, 2021 (14-game limit) 

* Tennis (Women’s) – April 26 to June 11, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Track and Field – April 26 to June 11, 2021 (10-meet limit) 

* Wrestling – April 26 to June 11, 2021 (14-match limit) 

* Competition Cheerleading Invitational – May 1, 2021

These dates do not reflect the playoff dates which have yet to be determined.  

Tucker noted on the amended schedule, “We recognize that this is a lot of information to digest and drastically different from the way the sport calendar has been aligned for years in North Carolina.  However, as we mentioned many weeks ago, ‘we will play again’.  In that mantra, we believe, and it is in that spirit, that we present this calendar.” 

During the same Facebook live press conference, Dr. Josh Bloom, NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), spoke on the importance of having sports seasons.  “For many young people, the void left without sports is filled with anxiety, depression, and despair.  While the consequences of not participating may be more difficult to quantify than the risks of COVID-19 infection, we recognize these consequences of not participating are real and they are grave.”