CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has revealed the amended athletic schedule for the 2020-21 school year. The NCHSAA Board of Directors approved the new schedule on Tuesday evening, and the revised calendar was announced by NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker in a video statement on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the most notable changes is to the high school football season, which will now commence in February. The sport is scheduled to begin practice on Feb. 8, while the regular season will take place from Feb. 26 to April 9 and consist of seven games.
Practice for basketball can begin on Dec. 7, with games slated to tip off on Jan. 4. Teams are permitted to play 14 regular-season contests between the first Monday in January and Feb. 19.
Softball and baseball will also play 14-game seasons, with softball lasting from March 1 through April 30 and baseball lasting from April 12 through June 11. The first regular-season games for softball will be held on March 15, while baseball’s regular season starts on April 26.
Girls and boys golf, boys tennis and girls soccer will follow the same timeline as softball, while girls tennis, track and field and wrestling will share the same timeline as baseball. Additionally, boys soccer along with girls and boys lacrosse will begin their regular seasons on Jan. 25, with practices beginning on Jan. 11 and regular seasons wrapping up on March 12.
Swimming and diving practice commences on Nov. 23, with regular-season competition starting on Dec. 7 and ending on Jan. 30. Meanwhile, cross country and volleyball will be the first sports to start practicing on Nov. 4 before holding their regular seasons between Nov. 16 and Jan. 8.
Also planned is a cheerleading invitational, which is scheduled for May 1.
No decisions have been made regarding the state playoffs, but the NCHSAA plans to hold some sort of postseason for all sports.
Here’s a look at the full athletic calendar for the 2020-21 school year:
• Nov. 4-Jan. 8: Cross Country (10-contest limit)/Volleyball (14-contest limit) – seasons begin Nov. 16
• Nov. 23-Jan. 30: Swimming and Diving (10-contest limit) – season begins Dec. 7
• Dec. 7-Feb. 19: Basketball (14-contest limit) – season begins Jan. 4
• Jan. 11-March 12: Boys Soccer/Lacrosse (14-contest limits) – seasons begin Jan. 25
• Feb. 8-April 9: Football (7-contest limit) – season begins Feb. 26
• March 1-April 30: Golf/Boys Tennis/Girls Soccer/Softball (14-contest limits) – seasons begin March 15
• April 12-June 11: Baseball/Girls Tennis/Track and Field/Wrestling (14-contest limits, except for track and field which has a 10-contest limit) – seasons begin April 26