By Dave Maxwell
The NIAA (Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association) held a teleconference Dec. 1 to discuss recommendations to the Board of Health of the Governor’s office about opening the high sports season in January and outline their plans as to how to operate successfully.
Superintendents and coaches from all the sports classifications statewide took part.
The NIAA staff received official notification Tuesday from the Clark County School District’s athletics and activities office that CCSD-member schools, with the exception of Moapa Valley High School, will not be participating in the winter season sports of (boys & girls) basketball, (boys & girls) bowling, flag football and/(n)or wrestling.
The announcement does not pertain to fall season or spring season sports.
It was noted that basketball and wrestling are still on the governor’s “no play” list at this time.
No decision has been made in other areas outside of Clark County at this time.
Mineral County boys basketball coach and school athletic director Pete Summerbell told the MC Independent-News, “We’re kind of waiting to see. They put basketball on the full contact list and put us at a higher risk like football. But if we are allowed to play, the issue is going to be will we be able to play with or without spectators? I’m sure the recommendations will come up with two proposals.”
On Nov. 23, 2020 Governor Sisolak issued Emergency Directive 035 regarding a tightening of requirements in relation to COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Sisolak had issued Emergency Directive 034 back in October stating that although he hoped high school sports could begin in January, Emergency Directive 034 left open the possibility “of amendments and a reissuance at any time.”
The NIAA website reported that with the current situation with the virus cases in the state, the 2020-21 basketball season, “it is noted that at this time, per gubernatorial emergency directive, competition in full/close contact sports, which includes basketball is not allowed. Competition in high school basketball will only take place as it becomes prudent to do so. This guidance is in anticipation of getting approval to begin competition. It is not to be construed as permitting unmodified practice or competition in the sport of basketball at this time. That approval will come from the Governor.”
Summerbell said if the schools are allowed to begin practicing again, he has “a six-week conference season all set up to go with boys and girls basketball. It all depends on if the governor and superintendents are going to let us do it.”
He added, “Some out-of-conference games might be allowed as well, but the issue will be transportation to the away games, who can be on the bus and who can’t.”
“The kids,” he said “want to play again. They’re anxious to play. It means some much to them as part of their high school experience. The preconditioning practices we were having prior to this recent shutdown had been very successful.”
Summerbell said the Serpents, the two-time defending state 1A boys champions, “would be competitive,” but looking to replace five seniors due to graduation.
Amanda Jones girls team was the 1A 2020 state runner-up.
Summerbell said he felt the rural areas of the state are probably better prepared to handle the pandemic situation than the heavily populated areas. “Easier for us to do some things than the Clark and Washoe county schools.”
The NIAA did publish a few months ago what the high school sports season would look like if allowed to begin in January. However, after meetings this week, those plans may have to be modified or canceled altogether.