CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) released guidance for high school basketball to mitigate risk of COVID-19 on Friday.
Players and coaches will be required to wear masks during practice and games during the season. Players will not be allowed to wear gaiters.
The pregame conference will be limited to the head coach from each team and the referee with at least six feet of social distance between them. There will be no handshakes.
The game ball will not be used for warm-ups, and the host school will make sure the game ball is sanitized during timeouts and between quarters.
Social distancing is expected to be maintained on the team benches whenever possible.
Officials will have the option to use an electronic whistle, but if they choose to use a normal whistle they must include whistle guards or shields. Officials must also wear masks at all times and are allowed to wear gloves.
High school basketball season begins on Monday with tryouts and practices, but games are not scheduled to begin until Jan. 4.
Other changes to the basketball protocols include:
- Officials may stand six feet or greater away from a player making a throw-in and bounce the ball to the player on a front court throw-in.
- During a free throw, the lead official will stand on the end line and bounce the ball to the player attempting free throws.
- The jump ball will be eliminated and the ball will go the the visiting team at the first alternative possession.
- To start an overtime period, officials will use a coin toss to determine which team is awarded the ball.
- After the game, there will be no post-game handshakes between the two teams.