The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) is the governing organization of high school athletics in North Carolina, United States. The association maintains the official rule books and governs the officiating standards across the state.
The NCHSAA organizes member schools into conferences and oversees the state championships for each of the sanctioned sports. The NCHSAA headquarters is located at 222 Finley Golf Course Road, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The mailing address for the NCHSAA is PO Box 3216, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515.
The NCHSAA was founded in 1913 by Dr. Louis Round Wilson, a professor at the University of North Carolina. The University served as the primary source of funding and leadership for the Association from 1913 through 1947 before the organization adopted its current model, which provides school administrators with direct influence through the presence of the NCHSAA Board of Directors. The NCHSAA remained affiliated with UNC until 2010 when it became an independent organization.
The first state playoffs were held in the Association's inaugural year in both football and track. Baseball (1914), Basketball (1915), and Tennis (1916) were added over the next three athletic seasons, and the organization has sponsored 16 different sports throughout its history, including: Soccer (1927), Wrestling (1938), Golf (1938), Swimming (1950), Cross Country (1956), Slow-Pitch Softball (1975), Volleyball (1976), Indoor Track (1987), Fast-Pitch Softball (1994) and Lacrosse (2010). Women's athletics were introduced in 1969, and there are currently 13 sports offered for men and 10 for women.
The high schools in the state are organized (since 1929) into classifications by the size of the student population. Prior to 1929 all schools played in a single "open" format and postseason play was decided within "east" and "west" regions by meetings of school administrators. The east versus west postseason approach continues to this day. In 1929 the NCHSAA split schools into "Class A" and "Class B," generally by school size.
Due to this and other factors, 36 schools in the Piedmont and western foothills of the state broke away in 1929 and formed their own association, the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association or WNCHSAA. This association grew to as many as 44 high schools, including many of the most successful high school athletics programs in the state. The WNCHSAA merged back into the NCHSAA in 1977.
The NCHSAA, due to segregation, also did not include African-American high schools. These schools played in the North Carolina High School Athletics Conference (NCHSAC) until 1971.
Several other changes occurred to NCHSAA classifications between 1929 and 1958, which eventually went to three classifications. In 1959 due to significant growth and consolidation, the member schools were split into four classifications, identified by 1A, 2A, 3A, & 4A. 4A is made up of the largest schools, and 1A the smallest. Prior to 1993, a set minimum enrollment number delineated each school's classification. In 1993, the schools were split so that approximately 25% of the schools were in each of the four classifications. However a new approach was instituted in 2017 known as the 20-30-30-20 model, with the largest 20% in the 4A classification and the smallest 20% in the 1A classification. The middle 60% is spilt between 2A and 3A. This model has already received considerable criticism for the unbalanced classes. The classifications are reordered every four years based on updated student population numbers.
Team sports have a separate state championship competition and title for each of the classifications. The only exceptions are cases in which the 1A & 2A classifications are combined, or in football, where each classification is separated into a single "A" and double "A" (AA) classification, with the double "A" classification being made up of larger schools than the single "A".
Each classification has a number of conferences for local play. Some conferences have teams from two different classifications.
NCHSAA sanctions the following sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Wrestling.
Many North Carolina schools, particularly in urbanized areas, have programs in field hockey and gymnastics, but these sports are currently not sanctioned by the NCHSAA.
These are the conference alignments starting with the 2017-2018 school year. With minor adjustments to accommodate new schools, these alignments will remain through the 2020-2021 school year.
All schools located in Raleigh, North Carolina
Schools located in Davie and Forsyth counties
Schools located in Iredell and Mecklenburg counties
Schools located in Guilford County
Schools located northeastern Wake County and northern Johnston County
Schools located in the Sandhills region between Fayetteville and the South Carolina border
Schools located in Mecklenburg County
Schools located in southern Wake County
Schools located in Mecklenburg and Union counties
Schools located in western Wake County and Durham
The NCHSAA Player of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the best male and female high school athletes in North Carolina:
|1985–86||Patrick Lennon, Whiteville HS||Pam Doggett, Dudley HS|
|1986–87||Robert Siler, Jordan-Matthews HS||Andrea Stinson, North Mecklenburg HS|
|1987–88||Chester McGlockton, Whiteville HS||LeAnn Kennedy, Trinity HS|
|1988–89||Ethan Albright, Grimsley HS||Danyel Parker, Clinton HS|
|1989–90||David Inman, Terry Sanford HS||Karen Davis, Forbush HS|
|1990–91||Mike Kendall, Albermarle HS||Christy Cagel, Hayesville HS|
|1991–92||Rusty LaRue, Northwest Guilford HS||Wendy Palmer, Person County HS|
|1992–93||Tyrone Westmoreland, South Iredell HS||Holly Hill, Southwest Randolph HS|
|1993–94||Brian Roseboro, T.W. Andrews HS||Jamie Parsons, Millbrook HS|
|1994–95||Na Brown, Reidsville HS||Aedrin Murray, Chatham Central HS|
|1995–96||Titcus Pettigrew, West Forsyth HS||Shea Ralph, Terry Sanford HS|
|1996–97||Tyrell Godwin, East Bladen HS||Jackie Houston, Kings Mountain HS|
|1997–98||Julius Peppers, Southern Nash HS||Clifeteana McKiver, East Duplin HS|
|1998–99||Nick Maddox, A.L. Brown HS||Anna Tharrington, Southern Nash HS|
|1999–2000||Manny DeShauteurs, Brevard HS||Courtney Willis, Terry Sanford HS|
|2000–01||Derrele Mitchell, R.J. Reynolds HS||Molly Pyles, Hendersonville HS|
|2001–02||A.J. Davis, Northern Davis HS||Katrelle Armwood, Durham School of the Arts|
|2002–03||Drew Williamson, Cummings HS||Anna Evans, Lumberton HS|
|2003–04||Jim Ollis, Polk County HS||Eva Baucom, Forest Hills HS|
|2004–05||Terrell Hudgins, Rocky Mount HS||Jesse Sims, West Henderson HS|
|2005–06||Andres Arroyo, North Mecklenberg HS||Megan Zullo, Farmville Central|
|2006–07||Dee Bost, Concord||Gabby Mayo, Southeast Raleigh|
|2007–08||E.J. Abrams-Ward, Thomasville||Janetta Robinson, Pender|
|2008–09||Tyler Shatley, East Burke||Ali Ford, Freedom|
|2009–10||Kareem Martin, Roanoke Rapids||Leah Mackley, Pender|
|2010–11||Romar Morris, Shelby||Courtney Melvin, East Bladen|
|2011–12||Tevin Hester, Granville Central||Lindsay Page Simpson, Franklin|
|2012–13||TJ Logan, Northern Guilford||Hailey Cook, Hendersonville|
|2013–14||Marquavious Johnson, Knightdale||Blake Dodge, West Carteret|
Hall of fame
The North Carolina High School Sports Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for high school athletics in North Carolina. It is administered by the NCHSAA and includes coaches, officials, broadcasters and others who have supported high school athletics in the state. The hall was created in 1987 with Bob Jamieson of Greensboro, Leon Brogden of Wilmington, and Dave Harris of Charlotte as charter members.
As of 2012, 125 members have been inducted.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Inc., was founded early in the 20th century. And even though the NCHSAA has witnessed dramatic growth in the scope of its programs and has had to deal with the changing face of education, one thing has remained constant: the Association’s commitment to providing a wholesome athletic environment.
The Association is a voluntary, non-profit corporation which administers the state’s interscholastic athletic program. Any North Carolina public or non-boarding parochial high school is eligible for membership, provided it is accredited by the State Department of Public Instruction and that the school adopts and maintains a prescribed code to guarantee fair competition.
The University of North Carolina professor Dr. Louis Round Wilson spearheaded the founding of the NCHSAA. In 1912, he approached university president Dr. Francis P. Venable about starting a university Extension Division. After a year of heated debate, a total of $600 was approved for this project, with one-third of that amount earmarked for the beginning of a high school athletic association which would help standardize regulations and ensure fairness. A university committee was to control the association’s operation, which was part of the Extension Division.
State championships were held in football and track in 1913 and several other sports were added to the program soon thereafter. A chart indicating when sports were added and their inaugural champions is listed elsewhere in the Handbook.
As the school people of the state desired more direct control of their organization, there was a move to change the way the Association operated. In 1947, a new constitution was adopted, by which the university was relieved from most financial obligations with the NCHSAA but continued to house the Association offices. The new constitution also provided for a Board of Directors as it is presently operating. In June of 2010, the NCHSAA became an independent organization no longer affiliated with the university.
Important Dates in NCHSAA History
The Association now has over 400 member schools and certifies the eligibility of over 200,000 athletes annually. Other organizations which have contributed greatly to high school athletics in the state have over the years merged with the NCHSAA. Member schools of the North Carolina High School Athletic Conference, the organization for black high schools, joined the Association in 1967. The Western North Carolina High School Activities Association (WNCHSAA) joined the Association in 1977, leaving one primary body working with high school athletics in North Carolina.
Seven executive directors/commissioner have served the Association since its inception.
Those officers, including their years as executive director, include:
E.R. Rankin (1924-42)
C.E. McIntosh (1943-47)
L.J. “Hap” Perry (1948-66)
Simon F. Terrell (1967-84)
Charles H. Adams (1984-2010)
Davis A. Whitfield (2010-15)
Que Tucker (2015 to present)
The Simon F. Terrell Building, which houses the Association offices, is located adjacent to Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill. It was completed in 1978, and the new wing opened during the 1994-95 academic year.
North Carolina High School Athletic Conference
The North Carolina High School Athletic Conference served for many years as the athletic organization for historically black high schools. The NCHSAC conducted classified state championships in several sports, certified officials and administered its athletic program. Dr. Army Armstrong of Rocky Mount served as its commissioner for many years.
Members of the old NCHSAC, which numbered over 100 at one point, joined the NCHSAA when the Conference merged with the Association. The NCHSAC actually disbanded in 1969. We have diligently researched to uncover state champions, scores of championships, and the like. Unfortunately, there was no master list of champions or game results, and much of what has been uncovered comes from research done by NCHSAA interns in newspaper microfilm or from former coaches and athletic directors. The listings of champions in various sports for the NCHSAC, such as football and basketball, are found in Championship Results of those sports.
Robeson Indian High School Athletic Conference
The Robeson Indian High School Athletic Conference began interscholastic participation in the 1920's. Original members of the conference were Fairmont, Green Grove, Magnolia, Pembroke, Piney Grove, Prospect and Union Chapel. Teams competed in several sports, but the post-season basketball tournament at Pembroke State was always a highlight of the year. With consolidation reducing the number of schools to four, the league added Hawkeye (Hoke County) and Les Maxwell (Cumberland in 1966 to become the Tri-County Indian High School Athletic Conference. Then in 1968 the schools joined the NCHSAA, just as the schools in the North Carolina High School Athletic Conference for black high schools did.
Western North Carolina High School Activities Association
The Western North Carolina High School Activities Association was founded on December 10, 1929. Charter members included Belmont, Concord, Kings Mountain, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Newton, Mooresville, Black Mountain, Cliffside, Hickory, Lenoir, Marion, Morganton, and Rutherfordton-Spindale. The WNCHSAA grew to 42 members in four conferences before it was dissolved in June of 1977 and its members joined the NCHSAA.
Only three of the 42 members failed to win a Western title in some sport during the WNCHSAA’s existence. W.C. Clary served for many years as executive director of the organization.
From 1930-1953, the WNCHSAA had two conferences, South Piedmont and Western, and later there were four conferences. Playoffs were held in a number of sports, including football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, wrestling, track and field and other sports.