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Fall High School Sports Dependent on Schools Re-Opening

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association held a virtual press conference Wednesday with 100 media members that provided insight into the NCHSAA’s plans for fall sports while still emphasizing that everything is dependent on when schools are allowed to re-open.

Commissioner Que Tucker said, “Sports don’t exist if there is no school. We want our students back in the classroom safely. Once that can occur, then we want them to be able to play.”

Governor Roy Cooper is expected to announce next week his plans for the future of public schools across the state. Three options are being proposed. Plan A is students returning to school as normal, Plan B would be a limited class size model and Plan C would be remote learning.

“If it is Plan A, all of you know that the plan will be, we will start on time and we will do business as usual,” said Tucker. “If it is Plan B or Plan C, honestly what we will need to do is see what that means as it relates to numbers.”

Tucker shared that the NCHSAA is developing different plans to deal with the possible different scenarios.

“We know that everyone wants a decision on whether or not sports will start on time,” she stated. “We know everyone wants to know in particular if the Friday night lights will be on in schools across the state starting in August or would it be in September. We simply can’t give an answer at this time.”

Tucker noted that the association isn’t trying to rush a decision until they know what the return to school will look like. “I am not going to tell you that Aug. 1 start date is off the table until I can put another date in it’s place.”

Among the schools that had started summer workouts, Tucker shared that she is aware of 4 cases of COVID-19 but tracing indicates that none of those cases were contracted at the school and 2 of them traced back to visits to Myrtle Beach.

Tucker also shared that she is not expecting extra eligibility for student-athletes who miss seasons due to the virus. The age-limits for student-athletes are set by the NC Board of Education.

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