The NCHSAA Board of Directors met last night via zoom and were able to come up with an amended calendar for the 2020-2021 season.
The decision to amend the 2020-2021 sports calendar was not one that was taken lightly, as the NCHSAA was guided by the NFHS and others in order to make a properly informed decision.
The first practice date for football has been pushed back all the way to February 8th, with the first game coming February 26th. Another big change to the football season is that all NCHSAA teams will only play 7 games this season, with the final contest date set for April 9th.
The first practice date for Basketball will be December 7th, and the first game will be January 4th. Basketball will only play 14 games this season.
Now that we have an updated schedule and something to look at and plan around, is how are these small schools going to work around this new schedule with everything being right on top of one another? Do not get me wrong, I think that its great that we are going to be playing every sport (with the exception of indoor track) but I think this is really something we need to look at and prepare for.
We are going to end up having some overlap in one way or another when it comes to these shortened seasons, but I do think that the NCHSAA did the best that they could. However, with this overlap, we need to think about the multi-sport, small school athletes who are playing every sport that they can. This year, if a female student-athlete plays volleyball and then wants to play basketball, she will find that very hard to do as Volleyball season runs from November 4th into January 8th, and basketball overlaps that running from December 7th, through February 19th.
I do not think that this is going to be a major problem, but I do think that it is important to keep these multi-sport kids in mind when we get back in the swing of things, as they might be spread a little thin.
Earlier today, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that he was extending phase 2 of the reopening plan until at least September 11. The North Carolina fall sports season was set to begin on September 1st.
Phase 2 of the reopening began on August 3rd and allowed athletes to practice with some equipment, including balls, but still does not allow the use of protective equipment which is vital to football.
Phase 2 also requires social distancing.
The NCHSAA has yet to comment on the governors decision and the effect it will have on the upcoming season. As of now though, sports will not be happening on September 1st.
“We do not have anything to share at this point. We will be providing an update to the membership very soon,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said.
As of Wednesday morning, a majority of NCHSAA member schools have resumed sports workouts. It is the first time a majority of schools have resumed sports activities since sports were suspended due to the Coronavirus in march.
Stay tuned to FYN Sports for an update on the ongoing situation and to hear the NCHSAA’s latest statement.
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Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin on August 3rd. The new phase does not change the number of student athletes who will be allowed to practice in groups, but it does introduce some new equipment. Social distancing will still be enforced, however kids will finally be able to start practicing with balls again.
Some other new things that come with phase 2 are:
- Sharing of equipment is permissible within small groups.
- Wearing protective equipment remains prohibited.
- Equipment must be disinfected frequently.
- 1st Responders are not required.
The NCHSAA Staff has been working closely with the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) on recommendations for member schools regarding summer activities that align with NC DHHS directives. The guidance utilizes 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.
The health and safety measures outlined in this plan were formed utilizing CDC, DHHS, and NCHSAA information at this time. It is recognized, however, that the information and circumstances concerning COVID-19 remain fluid and variable. Therefore, these guidelines are subject to change in conjunction with new knowledge of COVID-19 or changing social conditions.
Again, these guidelines do not become effective until August 3rd.
As of now, according to the Georgia High School Association and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, basketball and all other fall sports besides football are set to begin at their originally planned times.
The North Carolina and Georgia High School football seasons were both pushed back two weeks after both organizations decided it would be best to give the players and coaches more time to prepare for the upcoming season, since there will be new rules and regulations that the novel Coronavirus has caused. Both organizations have decided not to move any other start dates for other fall sports, which could cause some problems for local area small schools.
I remember going to school in North Carolina, if the football team went deep into the playoffs, then those kids on the football team had to miss out on the opening part of the basketball season. We were luck to field enough players to have a basketball team while football was still going on, seeing as how at small schools most athletes play more than one sport and there are not a lot of kids to choose from.
Now, with football being pushed back 2 weeks, it is not going to matter if your schools football team makes it deep into the playoffs or not, odds are your basketball players that are playing football are going to miss out on a good chunk of the start of basketball season.
I would assume that the NCHSAA and the GHSA will both fix this scheduling conflict eventually, it is just a problem that I wanted to bring to light. With small schools like Andrews and Hayesville, most of your best basketball players are going to be playing football and in turn will miss out on the beginning of basketball season, which will hurt the schools chance to compete in their basketball playoffs.
I would venture to say that the powers at be will fix this to the best of their abilities, I just thought it was an issue that should not be brushed under the rug.
Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: Football for NC and GA pushed back. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to email@example.com and see them in our next Sunday Edition.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference earlier today, where he announced that school systems will be operating on Plan B which is a split, virtual and in-person, system this fall. School districts are also allowed to operate under plan C, which is strictly virtual online learning. Regarding sports, he announced that he is leaving the decision about whether or not to have upcoming athletics seasons to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA).
Cooper stated, “The NCHSAA will be making the decisions about high school sports and what they’re going to engage in.” He went on to say, “I love fall sports and enjoyed playing them in high school. I know a lot of our student-athletes want to get back into playing sports. The NCHSAA will be consulting with public health experts, including our staff here at the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s my understanding that they will be making specific decisions a little bit later on in the process.”
I’ve been thinking about this decision since I listened to Governor Cooper’s press conference on Tuesday morning, trying to weigh the good and the bad.
In my honest opinion, I think that since Cooper left it up to the NCHSAA to decide, they, in turn, will leave it up to school districts to decide whether they want to play or not. I think that the NCHSAA will give the go-ahead initially, but a lot of things will have to fall into place for sports to be played at their full potential. All in all, I do not think that it was necessarily a bad thing for this decision to be left up to Que Tucker and the NCHSAA board, but it does now present them with even more unanswered questions since the school systems will be operating at basically a fifty percent capacity.
It feels like, with every press conference and news release we get, more questions are left at the end than there were before. Hopefully, when the NCHSAA meets in two weeks we can get a plan of attack and know what to expect going forward.
Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: New GHSA shot clock rule good for the game. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to firstname.lastname@example.org and see them in our next Sunday Edition.
The NCHSAA held a board of directors meeting on Wednesday, April 29. During that meeting, many things were discussed about the upcoming fall sports season and what to do about the state championship game cancelations of the last fall season. The board of directors announced at the conclusion of the meeting that they would be crowning co-champions for qualifying teams, which means the Murphy Lady Bulldogs are your 2020 State Champions.
The Bulldogs sent Mitchell home in the 1A Western Regional Championship game and were expected to play East champion Weldon in March in the State Championship game before it was cancelled due to Covid-19. This is Murphys 3rd state title in women’s basketball but the first time in school history that they’ve gone undefeated in the sport. The team will be receiving championship rings.
Other things discussed in the meeting that seemed pertinent to me:
Approved an adjusted contact definition and new contact limitations football which was developed in partnership between the NC Football Coaches Association and the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
Approved the distribution of grant funds in excess of $120,000 to member schools requesting and awarded through the inaugural NCHSAA Grant Program.
Approved adjustments to the soccer playoff calendar (now a Monday, Thursday format for early rounds) and an adjustment to allow regular-season contests to end as a tie in men’s and women’s soccer following two ten-minute overtime periods.
The Board also said it would not speculate on a return date for student-athletes to start practice and workouts for the upcoming year. We did not necessarily get the answers we were hoping for in terms of what to expect for the upcoming year, but at least the girls and coaches of the Murphy basketball team can now officially call themselves state champions. I’m sure they’d all much rather play the game and decide a true champion, but at least they no longer have to speculate whether or not they will be receiving rings and they know for a fact they are going in the record books as 2020 state champions, something we can all be proud of.
Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: Gentry says ‘one more time’. Also, remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to email@example.com and see them in our next Sunday Edition.