NCHSAA Realignment Update


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CHARLOTTE – The NCHSAA provided information to high schools across the state regarding procedures, processes, and timelines for the 2021-2025 Realignment that is currently being finalized for athletic programs in North Carolina. The effective date will be July 2021.

Athletic Directors, Coaches, and high schools in the state should be aware of the following upcoming key dates.



December 10, 2020 – First draft of the Realignment Plan released to the membership.

January 8, 2021 – Deadline for schools to submit concerns or adjustments desired to the initial draft.

January 13, 2021 – Realignment Committee reviews submissions from the schools.

January 14, 2021 – Second draft distributed to schools for review.

January 21, 2021 – Deadline for schools to appeal the second draft of the Realignment Plan.

January 27-28, 2021 – Virtual Realignment Meetings for East and West Regions.

February 3, 2021 –  Realignment Committee meets and considers any further adjustments to the conferences.

February 4, 2021 – Committee issues the third Realignment draft.

February 10, 2021 – Deadline for final appeals to the Realignment Committee.

February 17, 2021 – Realignment report submitted to the Board of Directors.

March 2021 – NCHSAA Board of Directors hears any final appeals based on procedural errors.

March 21-25, 2021 – Board votes on the final Realignment Plan.

August 21-25, 2021 – The new alignment begins as Fall sports open.

The Realignment Committee used three points to determine a school’s alignment. They are Average Daily Membership, State Cup Points, and Identified Student Percentage. They have developed a calculation factor to make their determinations.

The NCHSAA has traditionally divided the state into two regions: East and West. The new realignment proposal covers 45 counties and 216 schools in the West Region and 55 counties and 209 schools in the East Region. Our area falls into the West Region covering Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Stanly, etc.

The classifications are 25% of the schools will be classified into each category with the largest schools in 4A. The remaining smaller schools will be classified into 3A, 2A, and 1A. A school’s population or enrollment is certainly a key factor in determining a school’s classification when competing in athletic activity. In the West Region, there will be 54 schools in each classification.

Conference determinations by the NCHSAA will be based on a school’s current conference status and it’s location. Conferences must remain within their region, and split conferences will be used where geography and other factors come into play such as rivalries and undue hardships.

The NCHSAA continues to remain very active during the COVID-19 health crisis. There will be more information coming from the NCHSAA before year-end concerning high school athletics.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran’s affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.