NIAA meeting this week but not expected to move football back to fall

The{ }NIAA is moving forward with its plan of no high school sports in 2020. (NIAA)

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday but is not expected to deliberate on potentially playing fall sports, including football, this fall.

When the NIAA released its meeting agenda Monday, there was some hope from those who want to play this fall that high school sports could resume sooner rather than later due to agenda item No. 12, which read:

21. Dealing with the Pandemic (For Possible Action)

a. Bart Thompson, Executive Director, will present for ratification, staff decisions made and implemented pursuant to action of the Board in the June 2020 meeting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include but are not limited to:

(1) Adjustments of sports seasons for the 2020-21 school year.

(2) Possible adjustments to the 2021-22 Activities Calendar.

b. Donnie Nelson, Assistant Director, will present for consideration requests for adjustments due to the shortened seasons during the 2020-21 school year.

(1) Waiver of the prohibition of practice and contests on Sunday (NAC 385B.330).

(2) Waiver of the minimum amount of practice for a team (NAC 385B.792).

However, the NIAA said Tuesday morning that portion of the meeting won't be held until 9 a.m. Wednesday at the earliest and the item is not on the agenda with an intent to resume the fall sports season sooner than the current plan, which would see fall sports played in March. Rather, its aim is to discuss a variety of things as the NIAA prepares for the start of the the 2020-21 season in January. Executive Director Bart Thompson will provide an overview of where things stand and a road map for starting play this season.

In July, the NIAA, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, decided to not hold high school sports events in 2020 and offered the following timeline for truncated three-season sports.

Winter Season Sports (6 competitive weeks)

* Practice begins Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021

* First contest may be held Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

* Last contest Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021

Fall Season Sports (6 competitive weeks)

* Practice begins Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 (Football)

* Practice begins Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 (all sports except Football)

* First contest may be held Friday, March 5, 2021

* Last contest Saturday, April 10, 2021

Spring Season Sports (6 competitive weeks)

* Practice begins Saturday, April 3, 2021

* First contest may be held Friday, April 16, 2021

* Last contest Saturday, May 22, 2021

Last week, roughly 50 local prep athletes and parents protested during the Washoe County School Board's meeting at Sparks High School and demanded to resume high school sports immediately. Superintendent Kristen McNeill told protesters the Nevada Association of School Superintendents decided to postponed fall sports upon the NIAA's recommendations.

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