By John Smist | July 8, 2020 at 1:52 PM EDT – Updated July 8 at 7:26 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Commissioner Que Tucker held a virtual meeting with the media on Wednesday.
Tucker opened the Zoom conference by saying there would be no major announcement and understands that everyone wants to know a decision about what will happen with fall sports.
“We simply cannot give you an answer at this time,” said Tucker.
She added that unless students can return to in-person learning safely, it’s unlikely sports can resume.
“We promise that we will do the best we can to offer students an opportunity to get on the field to play the games that they enjoy and that they love,” Tucker said.
The NCHSAA has many plans on how to start sports back up, but until it knows how schools will reopen they will continue to work behind the scenes to determine the best path forward.
As of June 15, high school sports teams can take part in limited summer workouts if allowed by their county.
Currently, Columbus, New Hanover, and Pender counties are allowing summer workouts. Brunswick County has set a start date of July 20 and Bladen County still hasn’t set a date.
Fall sports are scheduled to start full practice on Aug. 1 but Tucker says that the NCHSAA will have a better idea if that can happen after Governor Roy Cooper makes an announcement.
Hoggard High School Athletic Director Brad Lewis says that his coaches and teams are moving forward as if the seasons will start on time.
“We are planning to play,” said Lewis. “Our coaches and staff everything that we’re doing is to play. What that play looks like obviously will be under the guidance of the county and state leadership and what everyone feels we can do for our student athletes putting them in the safest environment possible. What they give us to do, we’ll be ready to carry out and get done.”
One option that has been making the rounds on social media is flipping fall and spring sports. Tucker says that football coaches are not lobbying for a spring season.
“It’s one thing for football coaches to say it,” said Tucker. “But what about baseball coaches and softball coaches?”
Tucker said that the NCHSAA is doing everything it can to allow for sports to happen and that might even be a modified season, meaning teams would play fewer games and might not compete in the playoffs.
She also would hope for at least half-capacity at games, but that membership will have to give NCHSAA guidance on whether they can afford to play if attendance is limited.
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