With several areas in the eastern part of the state still dealing with flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, the N.C. High School Athletic Association has been forced to change playoff dates. Almost all fall sports playoff dates are being affected, including high school football.
The 2016 NCHSAA high school football playoffs will begin Nov. 18 instead of Nov. 11.
“You have to do what’s in the best interest of everybody,” said Butler football coach Brian Hales. “With everything some of the folks up east are going through, I’m not sure football is foremost on their minds. We’ll do what we have to do and go from there.”
Already S.C. schools have taken a similar move and pushed back their football playoffs. Now the S.C. state championships and N.C. state championships will be played the same two days, Dec. 16 and 17. The Shrine Bowl is also scheduled for Dec. 17 and if it remains on that date, any players playing in state championships would need to be replaced.
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Also, in the Charlotte-area, most teams have not been affected, schedule-wise, by the Hurricane. Most public school teams are scheduled to conclude regular-season play Nov. 4. With the playoffs now starting Nov. 18, it means those teams will get a bye week.
Butler, for example, plays at Porter Ridge Friday, then has a bye Oct. 28 before playing its annual regular-season finale against arch rival Independence Nov. 4. But now, the Bulldogs will get a second bye before starting the playoffs.
“Personally,” Hales said, “I’d prefer to play. But it’s another week to get guys caught up and another week for guys to get some work that may not have gotten as much, like jayvee guys coming up, so I could see a benefit there. But, end of the day, it’s not a huge deal. Not at all.”
▪ In addition to moving the playoffs back in most sports, the NCHSAA has also waved the weekly games limit for volleyball teams in an effort to let teams make up lost games. The daily limitation is still in place and no Sundays games or practice is permitted.
“The logistics of moving the fall championships dates, especially this close to the events are complex; however, we must do everything in our power to do what is best for our student-athletes in the state,” said Commissioner Que Tucker. “Keeping our young people safe as we try to minimize risk of injury must be paramount in our decisions.”
Below is a list of changes by sport.
Individual Regionals: October 21st-22nd (No Change)
Individual State Championships: October 28th-29th (No Change)
reporting deadline October 19th (changed from October 17th)
Seeding: October 24th
First Round: October 25th
Second Round: November 1st
Third Round: November 3rd
Regionals: November 9th
State Championships: November 12th (Changed from November 5th)
Prior to 6:00 am October 25th, teams affected by the hurricane are permitted to exceed the weekly limitations, but not the daily limitations.
Seeding: October 25th (moved from October 19th)
First Round: October 26th
Second Round: October 27th
Third Round: October 29th
Fourth Round: November 1st
Semifinals: November 3rd
State Championship: November 5th (No Change)
Seeding: November 3rd (moved from October 31st)
First Round: November 5th
Second Round: November 8th
Third Round: November 10th
Fourth Round: November 12th
Regionals: November 15th
State Championship: November 19th (No Change)
Seeding: November 12th (changed from November 5th)
First Round: November 18th
Second Round: November 25th
Third Round: December 2nd
Regionals: December 9th
State Championships: December 16th & 17th (changed from December 9th & 10th)