RALEIGH —The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors held its semiannual board meeting at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel earlier this week, and there were a number of agenda items that were discussed.
As is customary, the first day of the Board meeting was devoted almost all day to committee work, during which the Board divided into those groups. The committees include policy and student services, sports, review and officiating, and finance and personnel. Then the second day of the meeting includes action items when the Board convenes and takes action on committee recommendations.
Here are some of the highlights of the Board meeting:
-- placed the following schools which had applied and been accepted into membership and paid the appropriate fees into conferences for 2006-07: North Carolina School of Science and Math into Mid-State 1-A/2-A; Ardrey Kell into Southwestern 4-A Holly Springs into Greater Neuse 4-A; Panther Creek into Tri-Seven 4-A; Jesse Carson into North Piedmont 3-A; Central Academy of Technology into Rocky River 1-A/2-A; Challenger of Catawba County will be independent; Winston-Salem Preparatory, currently an independent, will not be placed into a conference in this odd year of realignment since the conference in which it sought membership did not accept it
-- as a response to a study of playoff formats and wild cards in the new realignment, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball brackets will expand to a 64-team predetermined bracket, and soccer will go to 64 in the classifications where the numbers warrant filling the bracket. This will eliminate byes but have no effect on length of playoffs. In the expanded brackets, automatic berths will go to 50 percent of the conference members (drop the fraction for these purposes), plus one, and brackets will be completed with wild cards. Dual team wrestling and dual team tennis will use the new wild-card method but the 05-06 brackets for playoffs.
--wild cards will now be determined by order of finish in the conference (in a particular classification) and then winning percentage. A fifth-place team with a better winning percentage would not jump over a fourth place team in that same conference for wild card purposes.
-- the three-whistle system for officiating which has been used in soccer will be eliminated and officiating will return to the diagonal system
--approved a change in yellow card tracking for players in soccer; maintain regular season tracking as is, but once brackets are released for playoffs, yellow cards are reset to zero. With three yellow cards in playoffs, a player is suspended for next game; five total yellow cards means player is out for remainder of playoffs
--approved change for seeding in football; if school finishes first in its part of a classification in a split conference, it is seeded as a number one and not actually where it finished overall in the conference
--an adjustment was made in football individual participation as a two-year experiment.. An “eight-quarter” rule was approved with specific stipulations for extra player participation.
In emergency or “lack of depth” situations, freshman and/or sophomore junior varsity football players will be allowed a maximum of eight quarters per season of “on the field” play as a varsity football player. This is an allowable exemption from the rule counting dressing for a game as participation in a varsity contest and will enable a junior varsity player to be available for emergency or lack of depth participation in the varsity contest. The intent of the rule is to give coaches some alternatives for junior varsity players to continue to gain valuable game experience at the junior varsity level and still be available as a backup player in the varsity game. Several conditions will have to be met and appropriate forms filled out if a coach elects to utilize this option.
--a change was made in preseason football workouts from a sports medicine committee recommendation: for the first three days of official practice, allowable equipment would now be shorts, T-shirts and helmets (no shoulder pads); then next three days with shoulder pads added, then three days in full equipment with contact allowed
-- volleyball will now have same scheduling limitations as baseball and softball, four matches may be played in a week on four separate days if the fourth is on a non-school day; schools may still play four in three days
--the Board noted its concern that ejections in just about every sport have increased for this year. Football is about the same (99 in 2004, 98 in 2005) but others are up, including men’s soccer (from 84 to 121), men’s basketball (from 21 to 32), women’s basketball (from 8 to 12), wrestling (from 29 to 37), baseball (from 12 to 21) and women’s soccer (from 3 to 10).