Monday, 06 July 2020 23:03

NCHSAA cancels second mandatory dead week as local athletics await green light

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CHAPEL HILL  — It may not seem like it in many areas across the state, but the North Carolina High School Athletic Association lifted its athletic dead period on June 15.

The governing body of high school athletics made an announcement via Twitter on Monday that the board of directors has taken another step forward and canceled the second mandatory dead period this summer.

With the cancelation of the second dead week, student-athletes and coaches are getting a chance to squeeze in much-needed practice time, should they be allowed to practice.

In March, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCHSAA, its board of directors and commissioner Que Tucker decided to put a lid on interscholastic athletics across the state in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

Starting on March 13, the NCHSAA’s dead period lasted three months and three days, but made its announcement to allow local school districts to resume summer practices a week prior to actually opening play (June 8).

The standard for dead periods during a non-pandemic summer schedule is for the NCHSAA to impose a break in summer training during the week of the Fourth of July, as well as the third full week of the month.

But because of the prolonged stoppage in play because of COVID-19, the NCHSAA is wiping out the second dead week period, which is scheduled for July 20-26.

In its tweet, the NCHSAA wrote that per its policy, schools and coaches are reminded that “participation in summer activities must not be required and cannot be a prerequisite for ‘making’ a team.”

The move comes as a gesture to try and allow fall sports programs across the state additional training time to prepare for a hopeful 2020 season. 

At this time, there has been no official announcement made by Gov. Roy Cooper, the NCHSAA or Richmond County Schools regarding the fate of fall sports, while discussions of both having and not having a season are floating around the state.

Richmond County Schools and local health officials indefinitely suspended the idea of returning athletics last Thursday. A seven-person panel made up of school district officials and health director Tommy Jarrell noted player and coach safety as its main reason for not allowing teams to convene and work out.

If and when sports return to Richmond Senior High School this fall, should the decision be made ahead of July 20, Raider and Lady Raider student-athletes will get an additional week of work thanks to the NCHSAA.

No reassessment meeting date has been announced by RCS or the Health Department at the time of publication. This is a developing story and ROSports will continue to update it with any new information.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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