High school sports delayed until at least Sept. 1

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Schools to remain in Phase 1 of workouts

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Raleigh – Following Gov. Roy Cooper’s announcement July 14 that schools will reopen Monday, Aug. 17, the N.C. High School Athletic Association rolled out its latest set of plans the next day.

Citing an emphasis on getting student-athletes reacclimated to a school setting, the association’s Board of Directors elected to delay the fall sports season until at least Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Additionally, the association decreed that the first five days of the 2020-21 school year would be a “dead period” for all sports and that teams should remain in Phase 1 of summer conditioning and workouts.

“For now, we believe these steps provide hope for our student athletes, and the possibility for playing fall sports,” Commissioner Que Tucker said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

“We know that many decisions are being made relative to the reopening plan your school(s) will follow. Please understand this delayed start date is not ‘in cement,’ and can be delayed even further if we do not have improved data from the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services, or some other reason exists for delaying further into September or beyond.”

The association suspended its spring 2020 season March 14 before outright canceling the season two weeks later.

Summer workouts were allowed to begin last month, albeit with several safety procedures in place.

“We acknowledge that playing certain sports are more problematic at any time without a vaccine; however, we remain in consultation with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee members, and they believe we can and should offer a sports program, with all necessary modifications, delays, etc.,” Tucker’s statement continues.

“In the coming weeks, we will continue working with the committee as we plan our next steps for the fall, as well as determining when equipment could be shared – i.e., balls – and/or if we can move into Phase 2 of the summer workouts/conditioning.”

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