WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announced modifications to the guidelines for returning to play on Tuesday.
This came after North Carolina moved into Phase 2.5 on Friday.
For high school athletes, the precautions and safety checks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 won’t change but the number of players that can work out on the same field has with the increase in the number of people allowed at a mass gathering.
Schools can now have 25 persons in an indoor facility and 50 outdoor.
“Now we can get more of the team, the linemen and the skill positions involved,” said Laney senior Tanner Fournier. “That will make it a lot better for everybody.”
The NCHSAA also announced some reductions in teams that will make the playoffs. Instead of two 32-team brackets, there will be two 16-team brackets for each classification, making each regular-season game more important.
“There’s now more of a competition because there’s only one spot from this conference into the playoffs,” said Fournier. “So, we’re trying to beat all the other teams for that spot.”
A condensed sports calendar means there’s potential for seasons to overlap for athletes. Those that play basketball and football may have to play both sports for up to four weeks.
“It’s already hard to make the transition from football to basketball,” said Laney junior Connor Powe. “With that being flipped, I already know that I’m gonna have some problems.”