CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Board of Directors concluded its spring meeting with numerous policy changes taking place. Of note the Board of Directors approved changes to rules governing the gender of players, home school student participation in member school programs, adjusted the eight-quarter rule for football participation, reduced the outside participation allowance for off-season football numbers, and adopted an official ball for all rounds of the playoffs in several sports.
NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker noted, “This Board of Directors has done an outstanding job of addressing pressing issues in education-based athletics during the course of this year. The policies they have worked hard to craft have required much input and feedback from our member schools as well as our partners at the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction. We are excited to be able to take a step forward in the interest of inclusion and participation opportunities for all students in our state.”
The Board of Directors amended the Handbook Section relating to “Gender of a Player” to become more inclusive relative to students who do not identify based on their certificate of birth. They also amended the Handbook Section relative to “Eligibility”, inserting sections that would be more inclusive to students who are regularly enrolled in home schools. Those amended sections are attached to this email release in PDF form. A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) document will be developed for these policies over the coming weeks and distributed to the membership.
Other areas address by the Board included an adjustment in the eight-quarter participation rule in football. This amendment will allow schools to replace players on their eight-quarter participation lists in the cases of season-ending or catastrophic injury, and in cases of a transfer. The Board also reduced the number of allowable athletes on a single outside team during off-season competition in football. The number had been 21, but to be in-line with other sports, the board reduced the number to 10, which is one less player than constitutes a full team on the field of play.
Wilson has been a long-time corporate partner of the NCHSAA and the Board adopted provisions to make Wilson the official ball of the NCHSAA Playoffs in volleyball, soccer, football, basketball, softball, baseball and tennis. The approved and adopted ball must be used in all playoff contests from the first round through the state championship in these sports. The policy makes violation a use of improper equipment which is penalized by a $400 fine according to the NCHSAA Handbook.
Other decisions and action items from the Board of Directors meeting will be made available to the membership over the coming weeks when the full minutes are posted and emailed to the membership. Additional information will also be provided tomorrow by Commissioner Tucker in her remarks during the Annual Meeting at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill at 10:00 a.m.