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NCHSAA makes decision on start of fall 2020 season

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has made a decision in regards to the start of the fall 2020 season.

A decision was made Wednesday morning by the NCHSAA’s Board of Directors to delay the start of the fall sports season until at least Sept. 1, according to a release issued by the association.

Phase one of the NCHSAA’s summer conditioning workouts will continue until further notice, and the first five student days of the 2020-21 season will be a dead period. The announcement stated the change in the first five days was to “allow school staff to focus on the start of school.”

“For now, we believe these steps provide hope for our student athletes, and the possibility for playing fall sports We know that many decisions are being made relative to the reopening plan your school(s) will follow,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said in the statement.

“After each LEA 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. Please understand this delayed start date is not ‘in cement’ and can be delayed even further if we do not have improved data from DHHS, or some other reason exists for delaying further into September or beyond.

“We acknowledge that playing certain sports are more problematic at any time without a vaccine; however, we remain in consultation with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) members, and they believe we can and should offer a sports program, with all necessary modifications, delays, etc. In the coming weeks, we will continue working with the SMAC as we plan our next steps for the fall, as well as determining when equipment could be shared — i.e. balls — and/or if we can move into Phase 2 of the summer workouts/conditioning.

“Each NCHSAA Board Member believes in the value of education-based athletics and is committed to safety offering a fall, winter and spring sports program during this school year; 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.”