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NIAA: High school basketball, wrestling most likely won't be played this season

High school basketball
Nevada will not play high school basketball this year. (KRNV file)

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, which oversees high school sports in the state, made several announcements Friday that all but ended any hopes of a robust high school basketball or wrestling season in Northern Nevada.

Both sports were scheduled to start games Jan. 14 as part of a shortened six-week season, but that had been put on hold as they remain on the governor's office's "no play" list. The only winter sports currently allowed to compete under state rules are skiing and flag football, which is played in Southern Nevada.

The winter sports season, which Clark County School District had opted out of, is scheduled to conclude Feb. 20. It will most likely be played without its two marque sports, basketball and wrestling, getting the opportunity to compete due to state COVID-19 restrictions.

The NIAA announced the following Friday:

* NIAA cancels postseason regional tournaments in basketball and wrestling.

* NIAA recommends 2020-21 regular season league/region schedules be vacated in basketball and wrestling.

* NIAA schools may schedule games in basketball and wrestling if the no-play prohibition is lifted before the conclusion of winter sports Feb. 20. That would require the minimum number of practices being conducted before competition. With only four weeks remaining in the winter sports season, time is running out for any robust season for basketball or wrestling. A first practice would have been completed by Feb. 15 for a game to be played on Feb. 20.

The NIAA also announced winter sports will not be allowed to be conducted outside of the winter sports season, which ends Feb. 20.

"Certainly we don't have much optimism that a winter season for basketball or wrestling is going to take place," NIAA executive director Bart Thompson said. "I wish we had better news to give."

Fall sports are scheduled to begin practice Feb. 20 with games beginning March 5. Football can begin practicing Feb. 13, although that sport remains on the no-play list. The other fall sports include cross country, girls golf, volleyball, soccer and tennis, all of which are allowed to be played under state guidelines. Unless a change is made to the current state rules, football won't be played this season, either. Thompson said he doesn't anticipate football will be removed from the no-play list during the statewide pause, which has been extended through Feb. 15.

Spring sports are scheduled to play April 16-May 22 with practices starting April 3. The spring sports include baseball, boys golf, softball, swimming and diving, track and field and boys volleyball (South). All of those have been cleared to compete.

All but three of the NIAA's sanctioned sports are allowed to be played currently, per state rules. The three on the no-play list are football, basketball and wrestling. Lacrosse, which the NIAA does not sanction but is widely played in Northern Nevada as a club sport, also is on the "no play." Group cheer and group dance are on the restricted list, too.

Also Friday, Clark County School District announced it won't compete in fall sports, including football, with the exception of Moapa Valley High School, which is conducting in-person classes. Friday's decision is a result of Clark County School District remaining on distance learning rather than in-person classes.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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