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NIAA outlines how COVID-19 will impact high school sports in Nevada this year


The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has loosely outlined how COVID will impact high school sports in Nevada this season.

In a YouTube address, NIAA interim director Donnie Nelson went over the protocols in place when the season starts later this month, including mask wearing, COVID vaccinations and required testing.

Citing Gubernatorial Emergency Directive 048, the NIAA said:

* Volleyball, basketball and wrestling (all indoor sports) athletes aren't required to wear a face covering during competition. All other people, including coaches, staff, game officials, fans and volunteers, must wear a face covering while indoors while attending a practice, meeting, film session, scrimmage or game. If they'd like, athletes are allowed to wear a face covering as long as it is school approved, reflect the ideals of sportsmanship and don't display a sponsorship.

* Athletes in the high-exertion sports of cross country, football, soccer, tennis, basketball, flag football, wrestling, swimming & diving and track & field cannot be mandated to wear face coverings even in more restrictive districts.

* Fully vaccinated athletes will not be required to conduct weekly COVID tests regardless of sport.

* Non-fully vaccinated athletes, coaches and other team members in full-contact sports (football, basketball, wrestling) will be required to test weekly (one time Monday-Saturday), effective with a team's first contact with an opponent (a scrimmage or game). Non-fully vaccinated athletes in other sports will require the testing of non-fully vaccinated athletes if that team is traveling out of country for a contest during a competitive week with the exception of boys and girls soccer, boys and girls volleyball, flag football, base and softball, which are considered minimal-conduct sports.

* The NIAA recommends all available doors, windows and other available coverings in a “Press Box” at a baseball, flag football, football, soccer, softball and track & field venue be opened to their fullest extent. Adhering to this recommendation may allow for the press box to be considered an open-air (non-indoor) facility.

Districts and/or schools may have more restrictive measures for face coverings and testing. If schools from different counties play one another, the visiting team must adhere to the stricter local COVID-19 requirements if they exist.

"Participating in Nevada high school sports is a privilege," Nelson said, "Education-based athletics and activities follow state of Nevada directives. As of today, we have the ability to play. Things could change on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. But we're going to celebrate what we have in place today."

Offbeat News