NCHSAA releases offseason guidelines


Earlier today, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released guidelines for offseason skill development. These guidelines are eerily similar to and closely follow the previous phase 2 guidelines, while giving a little insight of what coaches can and can not do and expect of their players during the offseason.

“Any coach who promotes the idea that taking part in off-season skill development is required is blatantly out of compliance with the intent and purpose of this rule,” the guidelines say.

The objective for these guidelines as told by the NCHSAA is “To provide guidance for member schools to consider in designing return-to-activity protocols in accordance with state, county and NCHSAA regulations. It allows for a coordinated reopening following the initial stay at home orders and may also be used if conditions dictate the need for increased restrictions in the future; thus, the NCHSAA has developed a multi-phased approach.”

Some key takeaways from the release are:

  • On a given day, an athlete is limited to 90 minutes of skill development or weight training/conditioning during the academic school year calendar, inclusive of all weekends, holidays, workdays, etc. Skill development sessions are not. Sport specific sessions are not to exceed 90 minutes in duration (inclusive of warm-up, cool-down, meetings, video review, breaks, etc.).
  • Eighth graders are not permitted to participate in skill development sessions on high school campuses.
  • Contests or combined practices between member schools are prohibited during off-season skill development
  • Any individual affiliated with an NCHSAA member high school must abide by the skill development, out-of-season workout rules. If this individual also coaches a “non-school” or “club team” outside the sports season but during the school year, and has any students from the high school on that outside team, he or she cannot work with any of them during a dead period and are restricted to the maximum number allowable per sport.
  • Due to possibility of recurrent outbreaks in the coming months, administrators must be prepared for periodic school closures and the possibility of some teams having to isolate for two or more weeks while in-season. The NCHSAA will provide guidance regarding practice and/or competition during temporary school closures, the cancellation of contests during the regular season, and parameters for the cancellation or premature ending to post-season events/competitions.

Dead Periods:

1. 1st five student days of the academic school year

2. Last five student days of 1st semester

3. Last ten student days of 2nd semester

4. Additional sport season dead period will be announced by the Board of Directors

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