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Nevada high school fall sports postponed; no state tournaments planned

High school football
High school football has been pushed back to the spring in Nevada due to COVID-19. (NSN)

There will not be high school sports in Nevada this fall.

The NIAA, the governing body of prep sports in the Silver State, announced Thursday night fall sports, including football, will be played in March due to the pandemic. This comes after the organization was forced to cancel spring sports last season midway through the 2019-20 academic season. It also is expected that there will be no state playoffs this year.

"Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant challenges faced by NIAA member schools, the NIAA has made the following adjustments to sports seasons for the 2020-21 school year," the NIAA said in a news release. "Specific schedules for leagues and/or regions within the framework below will be created and implemented by the leagues and/or regions in each sport. Several options were reviewed.

"The NIAA staff, acting under authority granted by the NIAA Board of Control, is issuing these adjustments, which are effective immediately. The adjustments were reviewed by and have unanimous support of the NIAA Legislative Commission which is made up of the superintendents of each Nevada school district with an NIAA member high school. The NIAA staff consulted closely with northern and southern league/region presidents of each of the classifications in crafting the adjustments.

The adjustments are as follows

Winter Season Sports (6 competitive weeks)

* Practice begins Saturday, January 2, 2021

* First contest may be held Friday, January 15, 2021

* Last contest Saturday, February 20, 2021

Fall Season Sports (6 competitive weeks)

* Practice begins Saturday, February 13, 2021 (Football)

* Practice begins Saturday, February 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

The hope was high school sports would resume this fall, but the pandemic has worsened, both locally and nationally, in recent weeks with Nevada posting record numbers in new COVID-19 cases.

Clark County School District announced earlier this week it would start the fall school season with digital learning, and the NIAA had mandated campuses had to be open in order for schools to participate in athletics. Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick said Thursday the Washoe County School District should not reopen schools next month. The district was planning on a hybrid model with high school students going to class every other day.

The NIAA also announced a couple of other changes, including the anticipation there won't be state tournaments in 2020-21. Among the other announcements were:

* Out-of-season regulations (regulations traditionally in place during the summer) will be in place through Jan. 1, 2021.

* These are the scheduled dates for when NIAA sanctioned sports are offered. Participation in NIAA sanctioned sports is at the option of member schools and their districts.

* Playoff considerations are at the discretion of individual classifications, regions and/or leagues. The six competitive weeks would include any playoffs. At this time, it is anticipated that there will not be state tournaments.

* The holding of practices and competitions are subject to government directive, orders from state and local health departments, the restrictions associated with the phase of reopening in place at the time, and local district and school mandates.

Nevada joins a list of Western states that have either postponed or delayed fall sports. California has issued a three-month delay. Washington pushed football and basketball back to 2021. New Mexico will play fall sports in the spring. Arizona and Texas have issued delays, too.

Fall high school sports in Nevada include football, boys and girls cross country, girls golf, girls volleyball, soccer, boys and girls tennis and boys and girls soccer.

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