NIAA clarifies stance, leaves basketball and wrestling with one day of competition

Seven days after winter sports competition was supposed to start and 11 days after Governor Sisolak extended his ’30-day statewide pause,’ the NIAA once again has adjusted its winter sports schedule.

This time, the association has left a small, one-day window for basketball and wrestling to schedule prospective contests – assuming the Governor lifts the ‘statewide pause.’

As of now, no competitions can be scheduled until Feb. 15 and the NIAA once again stated the winter season would not extend beyond Feb. 20.

"We’ve been working on every plan imaginable … for as long / late as possible," said NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson, referring to Friday afternoon's update.

In the meantime, the NIAA has canceled all postseason competition for winter sports (league/region tournaments).

On top of the postseason cancellation, the NIAA recommends “that 2020-21 regular season league/region scheduled be vacated in the sport of basketball and wrestling.”

“If the Directive 034 prohibitions on basketball and wrestling are lifted with enough time prior to the February 20 final date for competition, to fulfill minimum practice requirements, schools, subject to district approval, may schedule and compete in contests in those two sports,” read NIAA director Bart Thompson. “There has been indication that given the current situation, the emergency Directive 034 prohibitions on full close-contact sports will likely not be lifted during the statewide pause. Even with approval of implementation of the NIAA proposal that is in front of the Governor’s office at this time.”

However, per the NIAA Directive 018 issued on December 30, 2020 states “at least five regular, un-modified practice days must occur prior to a contest.”

In order to meet the directive, winter sports would need to resume Feb. 15, host five days of unmodified practice in order to play a contest Feb. 20 on the last available day of the season.

Fall sports update

Fall sports are set to start practicing in February and football remains on the no-play list.

Thompson said cross country, girls golf, boys and girls soccer, b/g tennis, volleyball “may all be conducted within the COVID-19 guidance issued by the state of Nevada.”

Northern Nevada won’t be competing against any Las Vegas schools as about an hour before the meeting, Clark County School District announced all fall sports were canceled for the 2020-21 school year.

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