Pasquotank’s Kobe Kellar (left) and Currituck’s Ben Thibodeau (right) during a wrestling match in December 2019. The NCHSAA said Tuesday that it will only stage individual regional and state tournament championships during the 2020-21 athletic year. No dual team state tournaments will be conducted.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its amended guidelines for modified skill development for member schools Tuesday.

NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker said in a letter sent to member schools Tuesday: “As you know, NC Phase 2.5 went into effect Friday, September 4, at 5:00 pm. In this phase, mass gathering numbers have increased. Effective today, September 8, NCHSAA member schools can abide by those numbers:

  • a total of 25 persons in an indoor venue;
  • a total of 50 persons in outdoor venues.

All other sport-specific guidelines remain as indicated in the Modified Skill Development document. As always, your school/LEA may be more restrictive with guidelines and regulations.

The NCHSAA Board of Directors has also been busy reviewing the recommendations from staff and the Ad Hoc Committee relative to the 2020-2021 Sports Calendar. In a Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, Modified Sports Regulations and an updated calendar, to include playoff dates, were unanimously approved by Board members.

In addition to playoff dates, the following changes were approved:

Increase season limitation from 10 to 14 meets for Swimming, Cross-Country, and Track & Field

The date for the cheerleading invitational changed from May 1, 2021 to May 22, 2021

We are looking forward to fully resuming sports in November. As always, we will continue to monitor health and safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The state playoffs for all team sports will each have a 32-team bracket.

Football will be divided into two 16-team subdivision brackets for each of the NCHSAA’s four classifications.

For example, Class 2A will have a 2AA bracket and a 2A bracket, while Class 1A will have a 1AA bracket and a 1A bracket.

A conference earns automatic qualification in the playoffs based on the number of teams participating in the sport.

Conferences with 1 to 6 teams earn one automatic state playoff berth, leagues with 7 to 8 teams earn two automatic berths and conferences with nine or more teams earn three automatic berths.

Wild card (at-large) berths into the playoffs will be determined by highest conference winning percentage.

The association notes that brackets will be predetermined in an effort to minimize travel for qualifying teams.

In order to be eligible for a playoff berth, the NCHSAA states all schools must fully participate in conference competition as determined by each individual conference.

The NCHSAA released regular season regulations for individual sports of cross country, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and wrestling.

The NCHSAA noted that only individual regional and state championship tournaments will be held during the athletic year.

The NCHSAA’s dual team state playoff tournaments in wrestling and tennis will not be held during the athletic year.

The COVID-19 pandemic led the NCHSAA to halt high school sports in March. Since June 15, NCHSAA member schools have been allowed to conduct restricted workouts with student-athletes.

Bertie County, Camden County, Cape Hatteras, Columbia, Currituck County, Edenton’s John A. Holmes, First Flight, Gates County, Hertford County, Manteo, Mattamuskeet, Northeastern, Ocracoke, Pasquotank County, Perquimans County and Washington County high schools are some of the regional public high schools that are members of the NCHSAA.