NCHSAA: Basketball state championships, spring sports season are fluid

Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT
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The NCHSAA hopes to hold the basketball state championships at a later date, but the resumption date of April 6 for high school sports across North Carolina is very fluid, Commissioner Que Tucker said in a conference call with media members on Friday afternoon.

On Thursday, the NCHSAA announced the basketball state championships would be suspended indefinitely and the spring sports season would be suspended until at least April 6.

Nothing is set in stone though, Tucker said.

"It's in Jell-O," said Tucker, speaking of the Apr. 6 restart date. She added that the decision to resume high school athletics in North Carolina would be totally dependent on the status of the coronavirus pandemic and guidance from the government.

"Yesterday's events and the decisions that we made were certainly uncharted," said Tucker. "Our board of directors kicked that around pretty much all day yesterday ... finally got to a point where we needed to go all in with this."

The NCHSAA made the decision to allow contests, practices, and workouts to continue through Friday night at 11:59 p.m. Tucker said the association made that decision to allow coaches an opportunity to address the situation with their athletes, provide suggestions for working out independently during the suspension, and discuss the importance of current events.

Some school districts and schools went ahead and suspended athletics on their own, Tucker said.

"(The decision to suspend sports statewide) provides equity across the state for all member schools. One school system is not doing one thing while another is doing something else," said Tucker.

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No discussions have taken place inside the association about what the future calendar may look like, according to Tucker. She said it was too early for those discussions to take place.

"Today, we've just been answering emails, phone calls, still with the questions most people have when you suspend or postpone something," she said.

Tucker said the NCHSAA will begin looking at what the spring calendar may look like next week.

"We'll be playing those 'what if' games," said Tucker, adding that her staff will be looking at the latest times possible that the NCHSAA would be able to hold spring sports championships.

It's possible that alterations may need to be made, including how the conference standings are determined and whether or not the current playoff format can still be used. Tucker specifically mentioned looking at the MaxPreps Rankings and questioned whether or not they could still be used if a large part of the season is missed.

Tucker said the NCHSAA would look at all its options, including extending the season into June, but said there is not much room to maneuver there because of graduations.

"Those would be considerations we would have to make with our board of directors, but our membership would have to weigh in on this too," Tucker said. "It just gets a little bit crowded in the month of June when you start trying to conduct high school athletics. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but it's not something we're currently entertaining in a serious way."

It's also possible we may not be able to play spring sports this season.

"Certainly that is a possibility, but I like to lean towards the positive, so I'm going to be hopeful and prayerful that this situation will be different when we get to Apr. 6," said Tucker.