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NCHSAA Concludes Winter Metting

The NCHSAA Board of Directors completed their 2022 Winter Meeting Thursday morning at the NCHSAA Offices in Chapel Hill. The Board worked through a lengthy three-day agenda that included Reclassification and Conference Placement Requests which are called for at the midpoint of a four-year alignment period in Bylaw VI of the NCHSAA’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Those decisions will be posted in the coming days on the NCHSAA Website.

The Board also extensively reviewed a thorough survey of the NCHSAA Officiating Community and thoughtful recommendations based on the feedback in that survey from an Ad Hoc Officiating Committee which was formed in April 2022 to investigate recruitment and retention of officials in the state.

The Board of Directors took much substantive action during their three-day session highlighted by the passage of swift measures to address concerns in the officiating community across the state. These important measures included the passage of a 10% increase (rounded to the nearest dollar) in officiating game fees for all sports, which will go into effect January 1, 2023. The Board also approved eliminating the doubleheader game fee in all sports, requiring officials to be paid on a per game/match basis in all sports.

As an example of the impact this will have, currently basketball officials are paid $69.50 for a single varsity basketball contest. With a 10% increase rounded to the nearest dollar, that amount will go to $76.00 per game for the rest of the season on January 1. Eliminating the doubleheader fee structure will require that an official is paid $76.00 per game when they work a Varsity doubleheader at a school, meaning the official will earn $152.00 for that assignment. Currently, that same assignment pays $105.00 for a doubleheader.

“We are grateful for our Board of Directors’ swift and decisive action to attempt to address concerns that have been brought to our attention in the officiating community of our state,” said Commissioner Que Tucker of the NCHSAA. “We know there is still much work to be done as an Association and individually in our member schools to bench the bad behavior that has increased at athletic events across our state in recent years. We want our officials to know we are unequivocally committed to that work. We believe that this step by our Board of Directors on behalf of our member schools is a good faith effort to address issues that our officials are experiencing, to assure officials that their voices are being heard, and to help officials know we value them as a part of our team in education-based athletics.”

Tucker continued, “We are extremely thankful for the passion and leadership displayed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Officiating, chaired by Steve Schwartz. Their careful thought and dedication gave our Board of Directors valuable information about the state of officiating in our state. They helped us to hear and begin the process of thinking through how to tackle these difficult challenges we face as an organization. We look forward to continuing our work with the state’s officiating community to improve our programs and the experiences that they encounter when they are assigned to work games and matches on our campuses.”

The full report on the survey that was conducted by the Ad Hoc Committee on Officiating is now available on the NCHSAA Website.

The Board of Directors also handled several other items of interest to member schools and stakeholders during their meeting. Board of Directors action included:

· Requiring background checks be provided by media outlets requesting credentials for staff persons or requiring a fee for the NCHSAA to conduct the check prior to the issuance of media credentials.

· Recommended that President Rob Jackson convene a special Board Committee to examine the formation of a separate foundation to manage NCHSAA endowment funds.

· Approved the 2023-2024 Sports Calendar and the 2023 & 2024 Football Calendars.

· Expansion of the Dual Team Tennis Playoffs in 3A & 4A to 64 teams and to 48 teams in 2A.

· Approved revision of the current Handbook language on seasonal and weekly limitations around the tournament and match structure in volleyball.

· Approved a maximum score of triple bogey for all regular and post-season contests in Men’s and Women’s Golf.

· Approved an adjustment of the policy on State Championship Qualifiers from Regionals to State Championship play in Men’s and Women’s Golf.

· Approved the Association’s Annual Operating Budget for this fiscal year.

· Approved a ticket price of $8.00 per ticket for the inaugural Women’s Wrestling Invitational Regional Tournaments to be held in January.

· Added a time limit in JV Baseball games. No new inning may start after two hours of elapsed game time.

· Declined to approve the adoption of a 35-second shot clock rule in basketball.