CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - High school football will kick off the season in Feb. 2021, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday.
The NCHSAA released its full amended sports schedule Wednesday.
Football practice officially kicks off on Feb. 8 with the first games scheduled for Feb. 26. The football regular season will consist of a maximum of seven games.
The first high school athletics of the 2020-21 school year will begin with practice for cross country and volleyball on Nov. 4. Swimming and diving will start practice on November 23rd. These are the only sports that will start their competitions in 2020. All others sports won’t start play until 2021.
Basketball practice will begin on Dec. 7 but first games won’t be until January 4. That means there will be no Christmas holiday tournaments.
A big reason sports like football and basketball were pushed to 2021 is because they are heavily attended events. The state wanted to make sure that fans had a chance to continue to see their favorite teams and time might help that happen.
“I believe this framework we’ve put in place gives us the best chance to be able to have spectators if the state law allows it,” said NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker.
Lacrosse and men’s soccer will get under way on Jan. 11.
Men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball and men’s tennis begin practice on March 1.
On April 12, baseball, women’s tennis, track and field and wrestling will begin to practice.
The amended schedule can be seen below:
There are still a lot of questions surrounding this new athletic calendar and those answers will come in the following weeks. The most important thing for the state was to get this plan in front of everybody to give a sense of relief.
“We still do not have all of the nuts and bolts in place, we knew we needed to get a calendar out,” said Tucker. “We needed to have some idea so that we could say to our student-athletes and then to our coaches and our parents and general population, here is what we are going to do as it relates to the calendar.”
Last week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston said an ultimate decision for CMS regarding sports wouldn’t be reached until the NCHSAA announced information regarding the Fall sports athletic season.