North Carolina High School Athletic Association

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North Carolina High School Athletic Association
Map of USA highlighting North Carolina.png
Abbreviation NCHSAA
Legal status Association
Purpose Athletic/Educational
Headquarters 222 Finley Golf Course Rd.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515
Region served
North Carolina
Official language
Affiliations National Federation of State High School Associations

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.[1]

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.[2]


The high schools in the state are organized into four classifications by the size of the student population, identified by 1A, 2A, 3A, & 4A classifications. 4A is made up of the largest schools. The schools are split so that approximately 25% of the schools are in each classification. The classifications are reordered every four years based on updated student population numbers, the next reassignment being for 2013–14.

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.