Next week, the N.C. High School Athletic Association Board of Directors will hold its first biannual meeting since the state legislature passed a bill that will change the way high school sports are administered in the state.
In the early hours of September, the House of Representatives approved a modified version of Senate Bill 452. While the bill primarily addressed insurance, additional language was tacked on at the end, greatly reducing the power of the NCHSAA in regulating high school sports. The Senate also passed it the following day and Governor Roy Cooper let it become law without his signature.
The NCHSAA Board of Directors will need to deliberate on potential next steps. The legislation prohibits the NCHSAA from obtaining funds through corporate sponsorships beyond state playoffs, grants the state board of education and superintendent complete power to determine eligibility requirements, prohibits the NCHSAA from awarding scholarships to students and grants to schools, and alters the procedures for handling appeals, among various other provisions.
The NCHSAA will need to establish a fresh agreement with the state government in order to maintain its role in overseeing high school sports beyond this year. This is a routine procedure that the NCHSAA underwent in 2021 and 2022. While the NCHSAA recently finished its first year under a four-year contract with the state board of education, the updated legislation will necessitate further modifications and a new agreement with the state superintendent.
The upcoming NCHSAA Board of Directors meeting will address the bylaws affected by SB 452, along with updates to eligibility requirements and the necessity for a new memorandum of understanding.
The NCHSAA meeting and upcoming months will focus heavily on the new state law, but the association must also prioritize their responsibilities in overseeing daily operations of high school sports in North Carolina.
During the board meeting, there will be discussions about various important topics over the course of two days. The first day, Nov. 29, will consist of committee meetings. The second day, Nov. 30, will involve the full board voting on recommendations from the committees and a press conference will follow. Both days will start at 8:30 a.m.
Getting ready for the upcoming realignment.
Next week, the Realignment Committee will officially present its report to the Board of Directors. This will initiate the formation of new conferences and classifications.
The NCHSAA bylaws have been modified according to the results of the membership vote. This change will result in an increase of classifications, with a minimum of seven but potentially more.
The upcoming realignment, effective for the 2025-2026 academic year and lasting for four years, will solely consider the average daily membership figures of NCHSAA schools. The existing realignment consists of four classifications primarily based on average daily membership, while also considering the overall athletic success of each school and economic factors in the community.
HighSchoolOT has already given a comprehensive examination of the upcoming realignment.
The conversation about the basketball shot clock will persist.
After the National Federation of State High School Associations gave permission for states to implement a shot clock in high school basketball, the NCHSAA has been considering the possibility with its members.
During the most recent two meetings held by the board, specifically in the spring of 2023 and the winter of 2022, the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association has put forth a suggestion to implement a shot clock for high school basketball in North Carolina. This proposal has received backing from a majority of NCBCA members and is based on a similar plan used in Georgia.
The suggestion was brought up and discussed in the previous two gatherings. However, during the spring season, the board formed a temporary committee to examine the potential adoption of a shot clock. Tod Morgan, a member of the NCHSAA Board of Directors and principal of C.B. Aycock High School, who has extensive experience as a basketball coach in the state, will provide an update on the findings to the board.
It is uncertain if the board will act upon the proposed plan by the NCBCA during the winter meeting.
The NCBCA has proposed a plan to gradually implement a 35-second shot clock over the course of three years. During the first year, the shot clock can be used in non-conference games and in-season tournaments with the consent of participating teams. In the second year, conference games may also utilize the shot clock if all members of the conference agree to do so. Finally, in the third year, the shot clock will be required for all games, including state playoffs.
Possible rewording: Information regarding the basketball championships may be released.
The NCHSAA has decided to abandon its current basketball playoff structure and switch to a “Final Four” style for the state semifinals and championships. However, there are still many specifics that have not been revealed. These may be clarified at the winter board meeting.
In March, the NCHSAA will host the semifinals and finals for both boys and girls basketball playoffs at a single venue. The semifinals are scheduled for Mar. 11-14, followed by the state championships on Mar. 15 and Mar. 16. This allows for games to be played throughout the entire week, not just during evening hours.
At the NCHSAA regional meetings held in September, it was announced that the association intended to host the event at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem. However, a contract had not been finalized at that time.
At its most recent spring meeting, the NCHSAA Board of Directors decided to implement this alteration due to issues with venue capacity during the previous season’s regional championships.
In the past, state championships took place at both Reynolds Coliseum and the Dean E. Smith Center.
Is it possible for the NCHSAA to participate in boys volleyball?
Volleyball is currently only recognized as a girls’ sport by the NCHSAA in North Carolina. However, there are efforts being made to expand the presence of high school volleyball for boys as well.
A proposal has been submitted for the NCHSAA to organize a boys’ volleyball tournament in the upcoming years, which will be deliberated by the NCHSAA Board of Directors in the following week.
The NCHSAA would not approve of boys volleyball, as it requires at least 25% of member schools to offer the sport for sanctioning.
The NCHSAA has previously organized invitationals for non-sanctioned sports, like cheerleading and girls wrestling. Despite not being officially recognized as a sport by the NCHSAA, cheerleading has an annual invitational in December. In 2019, the NCHSAA hosted its first girls wrestling invitational and due to its increasing popularity, the sport will now be officially sanctioned by the NCHSAA starting this year.
Based on data from the NFHS, there are 3,376 high schools that offer boys volleyball, representing 25 out of 51 state associations. The total number of boys playing high school volleyball in the country is 77,287.
Additional subjects will be covered.
Next week, the NCHSAA Board of Directors will not cover all topics. They may also address other matters such as:
Reports on sportsmanship and ejections
The Officials’ Advisory Council has provided an update.
- Sports calendars
The softball bat-testing requirement has been implemented.
Financial reports detailing the allocation of funds to individual member schools.
The NCHSAA Board of Directors meeting will be fully covered by HighSchoolOT, starting on November 29 and 30 at 8:30 a.m.