The North Carolina High School Athletic Association today had their Spring Board of Directors meeting, and were slapping the gavel left and right.

Several changes have been enacted by the NCHSAA across the board for several sports, but only a couple of those were soccer related.  

Below we will explain a few of those changes and will continue to update how those changes may or may not affect local North Carolina soccer programs throughout the state.  These changes are said to be in effect for the 2017/2018 soccer seasons.

The first change that was noticed was that there will no longer be a May Dead Period for 2 sports.  Any girls sports are not hindered by this May dead period.  However, that is frivolous to girls soccer because this is the end of their season anyway and are approaching the playoffs.

Football is now not hindered by this dead period, as they were offered either Option A or Option B for skill development during this time, where they are allowed either 10 days of unlimited number of athletes or the entire period of skill development with no more than 21 (or 22) players.

The biggest glaring issue I have with that is that all other mens sports are required to abide by the May 8th until the last day of school dead period, and that prevents boys soccer from starting their workouts a bit early while football receives the royal treatment (status quo).

The other change that was made that is relevant to soccer is the fact that now MaxPreps rankings will be piloted during the 2017/2018 season and used for bracketing, seeding, etc. and will now include some form of "strength of schedule".  We haven't found out all the details on this yet, but as soon as information is available, we will spread the word.

Also, 1A and 4A sports will now go to a 48 team bracket rather than a 64 team bracket.  2A and 3A will remain the same, fielding a full 64 team bracket (32 in the east, and 32 from the west).

As more information becomes available, we will share.

Update:  The following information was released on playoff berths and qualification: