Nevada high school sports fans received great news Thursday when Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that action can resume after nearly a one-year pause. However, the news came with a few caveats. Clark County, which includes most of the Las Vegas area, will not allow competition until in-person learning is in place, which it currently is not. More than 75 percent of the state's 3.08 million residents call that county home.
If kids do return to class there, then spring sports such as baseball, boys golf, softball, swimming, track and boys volleyball have a chance to return. The Clark County School District has already canceled all fall and winter sports, which includes football, basketball and wrestling.
For the rest of the state, sports regulated by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association can return to practice as soon as Thursday, with games following shortly after that.
In the case of football, the season is scheduled to begin as early as March 6 with a five-game season. Other fall sports will also have condensed seasons. But again, not Clark County.
Spring sports will follow the six-week season, however the winter season statewide is done. The NIAA had planned for three six-week seasons, but "time has simply run out," NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson said. "From our hearts, we are sorry."
Football was supposed to start practice last Saturday but remained in flux as one of three sports on the state's no-play list due to COVID-19. Sisolak announced it was taken off the list Wednesday.
According to NevadaSportsNet.com
, attendance for games will initially be limited to 100 or 35 percent capacity, whichever is less. After March 15, it will increase to 250 or 50 percent capacity.
Sisolak said the drop in positivity rate for COVID and number of cases was part of the reason in getting kids back on the field.
"A lot of the kids, and I fully understand, they want to get back on the field, they want to have practices, they want to have their games," Sisolak said. "Some students are hoping for scholarships to move on to college. We're going in the right direction, and we decided it was time. Now, it's up to local districts. Clark County, I don't know if they'll participate. That will be up to them. But there's been a lot of demand in Washoe and the rural counties to allow us to move forward."
Nevada is now one of 12 states hoping to play football in the winter or spring. Washington was the first to hit the field last weekend.
North Carolina and Virginia have seasons scheduled later this month,
while five others now, including Nevada, along with Illinois, Oregon, Maryland and New Mexico plus Washington
D.C. — plan to start games in March.
states — California, New York and Rhode Island — are still either
working on a start date or considering taking 2020-21 off from football.
Other states that have already canceled football: Connecticut, Hawaii,