Key Football Changes at NCHSAA Meetings:No more Football Subdivisions beginning in 2021-2022 season[MORE Notes from the meetings]

This news coming in today, from Twitter:

***********Key Football Changes at NCHSAA Meetings:No more Football Subdivisions beginning in 2021-2022 season**********

Among the action taken, the board voted to eliminate subdivisions in high school football playoffs, meaning the playoffs will drop from eight brackets to four brackets. The change will take place in the 2021-2022 season.

Additionally, the board reduced the number of games from 11 to 10, including an endowment game. The first game cannot occur until two days prior to the last Friday in August.

from the NCHSAA and
Below are a few highlights of decisions of the Board of Directors.

· Approved the allocation of $4,000,000 in Board/Undesignated Funds from the NCHSAA Endowment as a one-time subsidy for schools offering athletic programs during the 2020-2021 academic year (Subcommittee to be formed to determine distribution formula/method)
· No alterations to the 2020-2021 Modified Athletic Calendar
· Updated the 2020-2021 Modified Sports Manual for Basketball, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer, & Swimming & Diving
· Approved the creation of a 60-second officials’ timeout in each quarter for basketball to provide an opportunity for athletes to adapt to wearing masks during competition
· Approved virtual monitoring (tele-medicine) as an alternative to face-to-face monitoring of the Concussion Return to Play Protocol
· Eliminated subdivisions in football, effective August 2021
· Reduced the number of regular season contests in football, effective August 2021, to 10 games (including endowment) while implementing a stipulation that the first contest may not occur more than two days in advance of the final Friday in August

· Approved elimination of each member school’s highest ISP data point in the three-year window considered for the 2021-2025 Realignment formula due to anomolies in the data caused by natural disasters (ISP percentage will now be calculated using the lowest two ISP data points from the three-year period)

“The members of our Board of Directors have done outstanding work during the course of the last year—not just these past two days. The NCHSAA has never asked more of a Board of Directors at any time in the Association’s history than we have of this group since March. They have risen to the challenge and guided the Association and its member schools with a steady and calm hand.

We are grateful to be able to again offer competitive opportunities for student-athletes across the state. We are doubly thankful to the foresight and wisdom of past Boards that have put the Association in a position to weather the tremendous storm that COVID-19 brought into all of our lives. Not only will the NCHSAA weather the storm, we will be able to provide financial assistance to our member school’s athletic programs during these difficult times because of the dedication and guidance of so many past Board members that set the Association on solid footing.

As we await the COVID-19 vaccine and hopeful abatement of the current worldwide crisis, we believe that better days are ahead for NCHSAA Member Schools and we will again be able to offer the robust programs and championship events that our student-athletes, coaches and communities have enjoyed for so long.”

-Que Tucker, NCHSAA Commissioner


  1. from Twitter today:

    President Jerry Simmons says the decision to end subdivisions in football was in response to failed vote to change the number of classes earlier this year. He says if that vote had passed, there would have been more football champions.

    Going from 8 down to just 4 Champions is going to change the landscape come December 2021…

    The increase from 4 to 8 final games really had an impact on Guilford County teams over the past/previous 20 years….

    Just ask Dudley, Northern Guilford, Page, Grimsley, Northeast Guilford and Eastern Guilford about it…

    Without the subdivisions, some of the above would have never made it to the Final/Championship games….

  2. I dont know about that last statement. To say those 6 schools (really 7, one GCS school was left out) wouldn’t have made it to the state finals only because they would have had to play one more game isn’t fair to those teams. Maybe they would have.
    This is really a 2 edged sword for all HS sports.
    Edge one = Football season doesn’t have to take up 1/3 of the winter sports seasons.
    Edge two = schools are losing $ with the shortened regular season AND $ that would have been accumulated if teams were allowed into the playoffs. People come out to watch a playoff game. Also, the playoff qualification just got tougher. Some teams wont make the dance.

  3. Dudley, Northern Guilford, Page, Grimsley, Northeast Guilford and Eastern Guilford….And I could have added Southeast Guilford to the list…

    There were years where some of the above teams would not have gotten in without the added subdivisions…

    Dudley would have still been there most of the years, and Northern would have made most of their trips, Page at least one of their years would have been in, but it might have been much tougher on Grimsley, NEG, EG, and SEG…

    The year Ragsdale got in, around 2000, we didn’t have the subdivisions yet…First year for NEG, we didn’t have them either….Second time around for NEG we had them…

  4. Not being from this area I don’t know when they switched to Subdivisions, but wasn’t the big advantage to this to make more money by having more teams in the playoffs. That and the beginning of the “everyone gets a trophy” era.

    I am not so much opposed to having a 10 game season as much as I am the way the NCHSAA is creating the divisions. I think divisions should be split by population at the school and not by who gets free lunches and/or who is better at sports and whatever else they included to the formula.

    Subdivisions had 32 teams in each and with the new alignment there will be 64 teams in each division. That is the same amount of teams with an extra week of playoffs which with the one less regular season game gives at least 3/4 of each division a min of 11 games.

    In my mind this will give you a true state champion for each division. Every other sport does it this way. I also believe this to lay the ground work to go to possibly 5A or 6A in the future.

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