NCHSAA releases postseason plans

NCHSAA releases postseason plans

On Tuesday afternoon, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association amended many of its guidelines for the 2020-2021 sports season.

The NCHSAA also released details on its postseason plans for each sport. One of the most significant changes this school year is playoff schedule will decrease by one round for most sports.

The playoffs this season will feature a 50-percent reduction in the number of teams that qualify. The football state championships will occur on May 8, and the football playoffs will be divided into two 16-team tournaments each classification.

In another significant change, the NCHSAA announced wrestling and tennis would not have dual team playoffs this season, but there will be individual tournaments. Other sports, such as soccer and volleyball, will have 32 teams qualify for playoffs this school year.

The NCHSAA will use predetermined brackets to minimize travel for the schools. In the previous seasons, the NCHSAA used Maxpreps rankings to determine playoff seeding.

Conferences with 1-6 teams will have one automatic bid, while conferences with seven or eight teams will have two automatic bids. Conferences with nine or more teams will have three automatic bids.

Split conferences, such as the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A Conference, will be based on the size of its half of the split. Any extra spots in the playoff field are at-large bids based on conference winning percentage.

For teams to become playoff eligible, they have to fully participate in a conference schedule that will be determined by the conferences.

Initially, track and field, swimming and diving and cross country were only scheduled for ten contests, but the NCHSAA increased the numbers of regular-season games to 14 on Tuesday.

This school year, most sports are limited to 14 games during the regular season, while football is limited to seven games.

The NCHSAA also announced new skill development workouts that align with the state’s new health guidelines. Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced plans to move the state into Phase 2.5 of his reopening plan. North Carolina now allows a maximum of 50 people at outdoor gatherings and 25 people at indoor gatherings.

Below are the playoff schedules for each sport.

Cross Country
Regionals: Jan. 16
States: Jan. 23

Brackets: Jan. 9
1st Round: Jan. 12
2nd Round: Jan. 14
3rd Round: Jan. 16
Regionals: Jan. 19
States: Jan. 23

Swimming & Diving
Regionals: Feb. 4-6
States: Feb. 10-13

Brackets: Feb. 20
1st Round: Feb. 23
2nd Round: Feb. 25
3rd Round: Feb. 27
Regionals: Mar. 2
States: Mar. 6

Boys Soccer
Brackets: Mar. 13
1st Round: Mar. 16
2nd Round: Mar. 18
3rd Round: Mar. 20
Regionals: Mar. 23
States: Mar. 27

Boys & Girls Lacrosse
Brackets: Mar. 13
1st Round: Mar. 15
2nd Round: Mar. 17
3rd Round: Mar. 22
Regionals: Mar. 24
States: Mar. 27

Brackets: Apr. 10
1st Round: Apr. 16
2nd Round: Apr. 23
Regionals: Apr. 30
States: May 8

Boys & Girls Golf
Regionals: May 3 or 4
States: May 10-11

Boys Tennis
Regionals: May 7-8
States: May 14-15

Girls Soccer
Brackets: May 1
1st Round: May 3
2nd Round: May 5
3rd Round: May 7
Regionals: May 11
States: May 15

Brackets: May 1
1st Round: May 3
2nd Round: May 5
3rd Round: May 7
Regionals: May 11
States: May 14-15

Brackets: June 12
1st Round: June 15
2nd Round: June 17
3rd Round: June 19
Regionals: June 22
States: June 25-26

Girls Tennis
Regionals: June 18-19
States: June 25-26

Track & Field
Regionals: June 18-19
States: June 25-26

Regionals: June 18-19
States: June 26