It’s beginning to look a lot like no high school football this year.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announced Wednesday, July 15 that the start of “fall sports is delayed until at least September 1.”

What that means is that practice for fall sports cannot begin until Sept. 1. NCHSAA requires football teams to have at least eight practice days including three in full pads before the first game.

The requirement is eight days but most teams practice for at least two weeks before playing the first game. Under the present scenario, with practice starting on Sept. 1, the earliest a high school football game could be played would be Sept. 10 or 11.

But the announcement delaying practice until “at least” Sept. 1 has more bad news. NCHSAA Commission Que Tucker in the press release states, “Please understand this delayed start date is not ‘in cement’ and can be delayed even further if we do not have improved data from DHHS, or some other reason exists for delaying further into September or beyond.”

The NCHSAA press release states, “Phase One of the summer conditioning and workouts will continue until further notice.”

Part of the Phase 1 guidelines state, “Athletes are strongly recommended to wear a cloth face covering when not actively engaged in physical activity and maintain 6-feet physical distancing. Face masks should not be worn during activities that inhibit breathing, (i.e. swimming, distance running or other high aerobic activity).”

Can you even imagine if cloth facemasks were required for swimming?

Gatherings during workouts are limited to no more than 25 people including coaches, managers and trainers outside and 10 people inside with coaches, managers and trainers “strongly advised” to wear masks at all times and to maintain social distancing of six feet.

Whistles are also outlawed although “artificial noisemakers such as an air horn or timer system with an alarm, can be used as a signal in place of a traditional whistle.”