Lighting Standards

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors approved the development of lighting standards in 1994 and since that time, has approved and accepted revisions, including the most recent September 2019 guideline revisions. The following standards apply to the lighting of all high school athletic activities sponsored by the NCHSAA or its member schools.

Lighting athletic fields provides more opportunities for participants and allows increased family and community attendance at evening events while also contributing to better, overall safety for participants and spectators alike.  These standards incorporate the most current data available regarding the desired performance, lighting electrical and structural issues that apply to installation of a safe, effective lighting system. Lighting technologies currently available vary greatly in efficiency, with the most effective providing life cycle savings equal to or greater than the initial cost of the system, depending on hours of usage.

The standards are divided into recommended minimum standards and desirable features. The minimum standards establish criteria that are important to safe conduct of NCHSAA activities and include evaluation of operating costs over the expected life of the lighting system. Desirable features are established to give added values (such as durability, energy-efficiency, environmental sensitivity to spill and glare issues, and cost-efficiency) where appropriate for a member school’s needs.

NCHSAA playoff events are intended to be held only at facilities and sites meeting the recommended minimum lighting standards as set forth.