The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Monday afternoon that the Coronavirus dead period is still on schedule to be lifted on Monday, June 15.
If the dead period is lifted on Monday, local school systems would then have to decide what is best for their particular district.
In an interview with 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker was also quick to make it clear that there will be many restrictions and guidelines put in place, and that all fall sports may not start at the same time.
“We do not know what the fall will look like as it relates to which sports we will be able to play, how many people will we be beyond the numbers game as it relates to physical distancing, which obviously comes into play when you start talking about your true contact sports,” Tucker said in the interview. “It’s the numbers in terms of how many people can congregate in the bleachers, and for high schools, that’s a very important piece of it. So we don’t really know ... where we will be and whether we will open up in our normal fashion.”
While football is the sport with the biggest following, other sports like cross-country, volleyball, women’s tennis, women’s golf and men’s soccer are also usually played in the fall. Tucker did say in Monday’s interview that some of that could change.
“I think that is very possible. Obviously that is not what we want right now. Listeners tend to zero in on certain things and then they miss the rest of it. So I want the listeners to be very clear, that’s not what we are saying is going to happen, but anything is possible at this point, especially if we’re looking for ways to have sports activity in the fall,” she said.
The Commissioner did say that there could be a situation where lower risk sports like tennis, golf and cross-country would be able to begin on August 1, while other more risky sports may have to wait.
Since football draws the largest gates of all the high school sports, there have been rumors floating around that the season could possibly be moved to the spring.
“That’s obviously the $64,000 question,” said Tucker. “There are those out there who would tell you, ‘Oh, yes, that is the absolute best scenario.’ But a lot of things would be involved in making that kind of decision. We’ve had some folks that have suggested that to us. We’ve even had a couple of coaches who have even shown us a schedule of how we could make it work with having football over in the spring.”
The Commissioner made it clear that the NCHSAA doesn’t want that for many reasons, but that it can’t be ruled out at this point.