The N.C. High School Athletic Association approved spring football practice, among other items, in Thursday’s winter board of directors meeting.
Spring football practice will not allow contact. It will allow an unlimited number of football players for skill development during the 10 days prior to the last five days in the school year, effective in 2015. As a tradeoff, teams will not be allowed to do skill workouts after Dec. 8 of this year.
Television: The NCHSAA has reached an agreement with Time Warner Cable to broadcast 10 basketball games (boys or girls) and 12 regular-season football games to be played on Thursday night.
Split conferences: The NCHSAA approved a measure that will require a No. 2 seed from a split conference to have a 34 percent overall winning percentage in order to receive an automatic bid in a 64-team bracketed sport.
At times, schools with three or fewer wins had been receiving playoff spots.
Adaptive track athletes: The board rejected a proposal to create an adaptive division state track and field championship, for wheelchair athletes or those with prosthetic legs, from the able-bodied division. Winston-Salem’s Mount Tabor High won the 4A division last year, edging Apex thanks to eight points from two wheelchair athletes.
Tabled for the winter: The board discussed options for a new regional format, starting in 2016, in boys and girls basketball. Currently, starting with the fourth round, teams move to a neutral site – Fayetteville in the East and Winston-Salem in the West – for weeklong games in multiple classifications.
Moving the fourth round to the higher seed, or a neutral site closer to the two schools, was discussed.
Also discussed were realignment options for 2017-21.
Schools will be emailed three options that will be voted on in the winter – the traditional four classes option that splits teams into four divisions equally, one that splits them equally after taking out non-football playing schools and then adding them back in after the fact, and a third option that’s a tad more complex. The third option takes out non-football schools, then splits the top 20 percent of NCHSAA members into 4A, the next 30 percent into 3A, the next 30 percent into 2A and the final 20 percent into 1A before adding non-football schools back in.
Certification: The NCHSAA ranks first nationally in NFHS certified coaches and seventh in NFHS accredited coaches. The NCHSAA approved a measure that all paid coaches must be CPR/AED certified by Aug. 1, 2017.
Cross country: The NCHSAA increased the number of individual state qualifiers from a regional from five to seven. The board also eliminated the split-squad rule, which had prohibited teams from sending atheltes to multiple weekend events on the same day in cross country or track.
Soccer ejection: The only request from the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association that was approved was one to eliminate a requirement for players with two yellow cards in a game to complete the National Federation of High Schools sportsmanship course.