Suspension of high school athletics in Nevada extended but optimism remains

NIAA play has been suspended through April 6. (Handout)

One week ago today, high school athletics in Nevada were suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. The suspension has been extended through at least April 6, but the NIAA remains optimistic it could resume play this season, according to a memo released by the organization's president, Bart Thompson, on Friday.

"This past weekend, schools were closed by order of the Governor until at least April 6," the memo said. "Sports will not resume for practice or play prior to schools coming back into session. The staff at the NIAA has been working on contingency plans for the possibility of abbreviated seasons and for Region and State Tournaments. These plans are taking into account various numbers of days and weeks that may be available for competition should schools come back into session and schools be allowed to compete.

"Depending on the number of days/weeks available for competition, it is anticipated in team sports (baseball, boys’ volleyball and softball) that schools will be divided within their classification into pools of three to five schools with play among those schools used to aid in seeding a Region Tournament at least to the point of being able to separate better teams in the Region Bracket. Depending on the time available for play, pool play could eliminate teams from the tournament.

"For the individual sports of swimming & diving and track & field, entry directly into the Region Meet for a maximum number of entries per event per school would make up the Region Meet. For boys’ golf, each school will be allowed to enter a team of six golfers in the Region Tournament. It is anticipated at this time that competition will not go beyond the dismissal of school for the current school year whenever that may occur. A lack of days/weeks to complete competition could result in competition through a Region Tournament only. It is the hope of NIAA staff that all tournaments will be able to be held. We have currently scheduled sites for nearly all of the Region and State Tournaments."

The NIAA also had to postponed its scheduled meeting last week to hear appeals by schools aligned in the 3A, 4A and 5A classifications for winter sports, per the recommendation of the realignment committee. The majority of the Northern 4A schools would move to a new 5A classification, which was approved in the fall sports already.

"It is anticipated that the realignment committee will meet in late April to deal with these issues," the NIAA said. "Schools will be notified in advance of the scheduled meeting."

The regular spring meeting of the NIAA Board of Control originally scheduled for March 30-31 has also been postponed and is likely to take place in late April or early May.

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