Masks & No Jump Balls Highlight NCHSAA Protocols

December 7, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationBasketballCoaching
Winter sports like basketball will be played in North Carolina high school gyms, but the games will have a different look to them for the 2020-21 season.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announced late last week that basketball will be played with masks and no jump balls will take place, according to a report from The Fayetteville Observer.

Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

Practices and tryouts are slated to begin Monday, December 7. The regular season is scheduled to begin on January 4 with no more than two games a week until February 19’s end of the regular season, The Observer reported.

“It’s been a long time,” E.E. Smith High School’s Dee Hardy said to The Observer. “It’s just a breath of fresh air to get back to something that we’re used to doing.”

While the mask requirement and forgoing jump balls were the biggest takeaways from the NCHSAA Board of Directors meeting, there are a few more changes. Officials now have a 60-second timeout in each quarter, which, in theory, provides an opportunity for players to adapt to wearing masks during competition.

“I think if they let us play in space helmets, that’s what we’d do. Everybody just wants an opportunity to get out there,” Hardy and Westover Head Coach George Stackhouse told The Observer.

Bench players and coaches on the sideline much also practice social distancing during gameplay, The Observer reported. Additionally, prior to the start of the game, the pre-game meeting between captains, officials, and coaches will be limited to just the head coach and referee.

According to The Observer, officials will be given the game ball to sanitize before taking the court. The host school is responsible for making sure the ball is sanitized during all timeouts and between quarters.

To read the full article from The Fayetteville Observer on the new rules from the NCHSAA for basketball, click here