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CHAPEL HILL – As expected the North Carolina High School Athletic Association issued new guidelines for skill development sessions and also plans for the state playoffs in each sport Tuesday in an email from Commissioner Que Tucker.

Since NC Phase 2.5 went into effect Friday, the NCHSAA member schools can now let 25 persons gather indoors and 50 persons gather outdoors for skill development sessions. All other sport-specific guidelines remain in effect, and local school boards and administrators may be more restrictive with guidelines and regulations.

Other changes were approved by the NCHSAA Board of Directors in a Zoom Meeting Wednesday. The state playoff fields will be trimmed to 32 teams for most sports. Football brackets will be reduced to two 16-team brackets for each classification. This is a 50% reduction for many sports. Playoff qualifiers will be based on conference finish.

Tennis and wrestling will only play individual playoffs and will not have the dual team playoffs this year. Brackets for all sports will not be seeded using winning percentage or computer rankings. Predetermined brackets will be used just as they were in the years before seeding.

Conference tournaments will be permitted. Scrimmages will be allowed, but only two teams are allowed at the scrimmage. Each team can have only one scrimmage of 2 hours in length.

The Board of Directors increased the number of meets allowed for swimming, cross country and track & field from 10 to 14. The date for the annual cheerleading invitational was moved to May 22, 2021.

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