CHAPEL HILL — Following Gov. Roy Cooper’s declaration Tuesday that North Carolina public schools will utilize a mix of in-person and remote learning to begin the 2020-21 school year, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors met Wednesday morning to discuss how prep sports will look this fall. After deliberating, the association ultimately decided to delay the start of NCHSAA fall sports until at least Sept. 1.
Additionally, the NCHSAA announced that the first five student days of the 2020-21 school year will be designated as a “dead period” for all sports, allowing school staff to focus on the start of school. NCHSAA Phase 1 of the summer conditioning and workouts will continue until further notice.
“For now, we believe these steps provide hope for our student-athletes, and the possibility for playing fall sports,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said in a news release. “We know that many decisions are being made relative to the reopening plan your school(s) will follow.
“After each LEA (Local Education Agency) 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,” she continued. “Please understand this delayed start is not ‘in cement’ and can be delayed even further if we do not have improved data from DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services), or some other reason exists for delaying further into September or beyond.”
Tucker also acknowledged that the NCHSAA remains in contact with the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to determine what the next steps should be.
“Each NCHSAA board member believes in the value of education-based athletics and is committed to safely offering a fall, winter and spring sports program during this school year,” said Tucker. “However, there is also a commitment to the health and safety of students and coaches.
“Towards this end, we all will continue to follow the guidance of the Department of Health and Human Services relative to the data and how we all safely move forward,” she added.
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