High School Sports

NCHSAA to push football playoffs back one week, make changes to all fall sports

Mallard Creek’s defense held Vance to one touchdown in a physical 20-7 win at UNC Charlotte’s Richardson Stadium on Saturday.
Mallard Creek’s defense held Vance to one touchdown in a physical 20-7 win at UNC Charlotte’s Richardson Stadium on Saturday. Special to the Observer

The N.C. High School Athletic Association will extend its football season by one week because of the impact of Hurricane Florence.

The NCHSAA made its decision less than a week after the S.C. High School League voted to do the same.

The high school football playoffs will now begin Nov. 16 in North Carolina, instead of Nov. 9. The state finals will be held Dec. 14-15 instead of Dec. 8.

This is the second time in three years that the NCHSAA has extended the season. It did so in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew.

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N.C. High School Athletic Association commissioner Que Tucker Courtesy NCHSAA/Que Tucker

The additional week this year will give teams time to make up games that were missed because of historic flooding caused by the hurricane. The NCHSAA also adjusted dates for other fall sports seasons.

“The complexity of adjusting dates for playoff rounds and state championships in fall sports are difficult even in the best of times,” said Que Tucker, commissioner of the NCHSAA. “However, we must do everything in our power to do what is best for the students who participate in our programs across the state. Minimizing risk of injury while providing a wholesome athletic environment that supports and enriches the educational experience for our student-athletes must always be paramount in our decision making.”

The NCHSAA had previously ruled that if teams missed five or more consecutive school days because of flooding, they must have three straight days of practice in equipment before playing a game. That was putting some schools in a bind.

For example, Richmond Senior couldn’t play last Friday’s game with Purnell Swett because Swett didn’t have school. That means, with three required practice days, the teams could play this Thursday, Sept. 27. But Richmond is scheduled to play Pinecrest on Friday, Sept. 28, a game that will be played.

Mecklenburg County schools are on schedule to complete their regular seasons by Nov. 2. The schools in the I-MECK 4A voted Monday to use Nov. 2 as a bye week and conclude the regular season on Nov. 9.

These are I-MECK games moving from Nov. 2 to Nov. 9: Hopewell at West Charlotte; Hough at Vance; Lake Norman at North Mecklenburg; Mooresville at Mallard Creek.

List of statewide playoff changes by sport:

Girls’ golf

Reporting deadline: Oct. 10th, 9 p.m. (changed from 3 p.m.)
Regional championships: Oct. 15 (no change)
State championships: Oct. 22-23 (no change)

Cross country
Reporting deadline: Oct. 19, 9 p.m. (changed from 3 p.m.)
Regional championships: Oct. 27 (no change)
State championships: Nov. 3 (no change)

Women’s tennis
Individual regional championships: Oct. 19-20 (no change)
Individual state championships: Oct. 26-27 (no change)
Dual-team reporting deadline: Oct. 15 (no change)

Dual-team state championships: Nov. 3 (no change)

Before 11:59 p.m.., Oct. 20, teams affected by the hurricane are permitted to exceed the weekly limitation—maximum of five (5) matches per week; however, daily limitations remain unchanged
Seeding: Oct. 22 (changed from Oct. 18)
First round: Oct. 23
Second round: Oct. 25
Third round: Oct. 27
Fourth round: Oct. 30
Semifinals: Nov. 1
State championship: Nov. 3 (no change)

Boys’ soccer
Seeding: Oct. 31 (changed from Oct. 29)
First round: Nov. 3
Second round: Nov. 6
Third round: Nov. 8
Fourth round: Nov. 10
Regionals: Nov. 13
State championship: Nov. 17 (no change)

Last regular-season date: Nov. 9 (changed from Nov. 2)
Seeding: Nov. 10 (changed from Nov. 3)
First round: Nov. 16
Second round: Nov. 23
Third round: Nov. 30
Regionals: Dec. 7
State championships: Dec. 14-15 (changed from Dec. 8)
(Sites to be determined)