MINT HILL, NC – The NCHSAA has released their current athletic calendar for the 2020-2021 academic year. The proposed dates are dependent on COVID-19 conditions improving across the state. The Board of Directors approved a solid framework. “We believe it maximizes 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,” said Que Tucker, NCHSAA Commissioner during a video conference call with the media.
Tucker also mentioned the importance of when the Governor decides to implement Phase 3 to open up schools to Plan A. If and when this happens, the NCHSAA may make adjustments to the currently proposed sports schedule.
Meanwhile, we are still waiting for a final decision from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools about the status of high school sports and if the district will follow the sports calendar outlined by the NCHSAA on August 12, 2020.
We have reached out to the Athletic Directors at both Independence and Rocky River High Schools for their comments on the subject. They are still waiting on a final decision from CMS, which is expected to be announced on August 17.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg is the second-largest school district in the state behind Wake County. The district has not resumed summer workouts and conditioning. The NCHSAA allowed member schools to begin workouts safely with strict guidelines on June 15, provided the school district gave its approval.
A recent NCHSSA survey provided different options to the school districts, and CMS supported the option to move fall sports to the second semester or delaying sports on a week-by-week basis until October.
In addition, CMS does not favor starting lower risk sports such as golf, tennis, and cross country in the fall, while playing the more high-risk sports such as football in the second semester. The district supports delaying all sports activity until January 1.
Under the proposed sports calendar for 2020-2021, Cross Country begins practice on November 4; Swimming and Diving begin November 23; Basketball starts December 7; Men’s Soccer and Lacrosse begin January 11; Football starts February 8; and Golf, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Soccer and Softball begin March 1. Baseball, Women’s Tennis, Track and Field, Wrestling will start April 12 with the Cheerleader’s Invitational scheduled for May 1.
For the NCHSAA complete proposed schedule, please review the sports calendar in this article showing dates for first and final contests for the regular season for each athletic activity. Playoff dates have not yet been determined.
This entire matter remains very fluid, and the NCHSAA along with the various school districts will do everything they can to make this proposal work to the satisfaction of all involved: student-athletes, athletic directors, coaches, sports medicine personnel, parents and fans.
Dr. Josh Brown, NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee stated, “We feel it is critically important to provide opportunities for North Carolina student-athletes to participate and compete in education-based athletics. While there are risks with resuming NCHSAA sanctioned athletics, it has also become very clear that there are significant negative consequences with not providing this option to student-athletes. Accordingly, this is an exercise in balance – and we are committed to an appropriate balance of both safety and participation.”
So here we are. Hopefully, on August 17, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools will make their official announcement in support of the NCHSAA proposal.