NCHSAA will limit spectators to family at basketball state championships

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (HSOT) — The N.C. High School Athletic Association will play its 2020 boys and girls basketball state championships with limited spectators in attendance.

During a conference call this morning with participating schools, the NCHSAA told participating schools that only 35 essential team personnel — including players — will be allowed into the state championship venues, along with 50 family members from each team. The gyms will be cleared at the end of each game.

Cheerleaders and bands will not be permitted to attend the games.

The state championship games will still be held at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh and the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

“This decision is not one we make lightly,” said Commissioner Que Tucker. “We recognize that participating in a state championship game is often a once in a lifetime experience for our student-athletes, coaches their families and many in the community. However, the NCHSAA must do its part in providing leadership necessary to keep our students, communities and state as safe as possible from the rising threat of COVID-19.”

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The games will be televised and live streamed on the NFHS Network, which requires a $9.99 monthly fee. Fans who purchased tickets ahead of time will be refunded.

No announcements about the future of the spring sports season has been made.

The NCHSAA's decision comes the day after the NCAA announced the NCAA Tournament will be played without any fans. The ACC Tournament followed suit, eliminating fans from games after Wednesday's games. The NBA went a step further and suspended the season.