The North Carolina high school sports season received some clarity on Wednesday as an updated events calendar was released by the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
Football, a sport classified as high-risk in relation to transmission of COVID-19, was moved to February, with the season running into April. The earliest that sports can begin holding practices is Nov. 4.
“Please keep in mind that these proposed dates are dependent on COVID-19 conditions improving across NC,” NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker said in an email. “However, the Board of Directors approved a framework we believe maximizes the opportunities for students in our membership to participate in athletics at some point during this school year, regardless of what plan is a school and/or school system operates.”
Cross country and volleyball can hold their first contests on Nov. 16 with the regular season ending on Jan. 8.
Swimming and diving season will follow, with basketball the next sport to begin. The hoops season won’t begin playing games until Jan. 4. The boys’ soccer season will run from January to March.
Golf, boys tennis, girls soccer, softball will play from March through April, while Baseball, girls tennis, track & field, wrestling will play from April until June.
Football will play seven games, as part of the shortening of all seasons. Track and field, swimming and diving, and cross country will each have 10 meets, while other sports will be allowed to play 14 games.
As of Wednesday afternoon there was no decision about the state playoffs.
“There is still much work to be done in regard to playoff formats, COVID-19 related rules modifications for numerous sports, securing potential playoff facilities and providing the safest possible regular season opportunities for student athletes,” Tucker said.