LUMBERTON — With several areas in North Carolina still dealing with flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, including Robeson County, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has been forced to adjust the fall sports schedule.
Almost all fall sports playoff dates are being pushed back, including high school football.
“I think the NCHSAA made the correct decision to move the schedule back due to a large number of schools affected by this disaster,” said Jeff Fipps, the county’s director of athletics.
“This will allow teams to conduct some practices before playing and not require players to exceed weekly limitations which were put in place for the athletes’ safety.”
Football and other fall sports will resume this week throughout the county. In football, Fairmont hosts Red Springs and St. Pauls hosts South Columbus on Friday at 7 p.m. Lumberton was set to host Richmond, but will now travel to Rockingham on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
In addition to moving the playoffs back in most sports, the NCHSAA has also waved the weekly games limit for volleyball teams in an effort to let teams make up lost games. The daily limitation is still in place and no Sunday games or practices are permitted.
“The logistics of moving the fall championships dates, especially this close to the events are complex; however, we must do everything in our power to do what is best for our student-athletes in the state,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker.
“Keeping our young people safe as we try to minimize risk of injury must be paramount in our decisions.”
South Carolina schools have taken similar action in adjusting the schedule for the football playoffs. Now the S.C. state championships and N.C. state championships will be played the same two days, Dec. 16 and 17. The Shrine Bowl is also scheduled for Dec. 17 and if it remains on that date, any players playing in state championships would need to be replaced.
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Below is a list of changes by sport:
Individual Regionals: Oct. 21-22 (No Change)
Individual State Championships: Oct. 28th-29 (No Change)
Dual-Team reporting deadline Oct. 19 (changed from October 17th)
Seeding: October 24
First Round: October 25
Second Round: Nov. 1
Third Round: Nov. 3
Regionals: Nov. 9
State Championships: Nov. 12th (Changed from Nov. 5)
Prior to 6 a.m. Oct. 25, teams affected by the hurricane are permitted to exceed the weekly limitations, but not the daily limitations.
Seeding: Oct. 25 (moved from Oct. 19)
First Round: Oct. 26
Second Round: Oct. 27
Third Round: Oct. 29
Fourth Round: Nov. 1
Semifinals: Nov. 3
State Championship: Nov. 5 (No Change)
Seeding: Nov. 3 (moved from Oct. 31)
First Round: Nov. 5
Second Round: Nov. 8
Third Round: Nov. 10
Fourth Round: Nov. 12
Regionals: Nov. 15
State Championship: Nov. 19 (No Change)
Seeding: Nov. 12 (changed from Nov. 5)
First Round: Nov. 18
Second Round: Nov. 25
Third Round: Dec. 2
Regionals: Dec. 9
State Championships: Dec. 16 and 17 (changed from Dec. 9 and 10)
Girls’ Golf – no changes; Regionals and State Championships as scheduled.
Cross Country – no changes; Regionals and State Championships as scheduled.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @RoddBaxley.