After more then a year of chaos due to the COVID-19 pandemic, life could be getting back to normal for high school athletes.
In an announcement Friday, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association stated it plans to return to a normal sports schedule for the 2021-22 school year, after a year in which only spring sports were played under a condensed schedule.
The move would end a near 21-month drought for fall and winter athletics.
“It’s very exciting to have a season this upcoming year,” boys tennis head coach Rachelle Huxford said. “Schedules have already been made and we’re ready to get back out there and play. The hope of returning to normal is coming to fruition and it’s great to have that sense of normalcy back. The kids are really excited.”
Setting a timetable for fall sports, cross-country, football, girls golf, girls volleyball, soccer and tennis are set to return Aug. 19.
Eager to get their season underway after losing out entirely this past year, football will kick off Aug. 20 with a home game against Western.
“We’re definitely excited to finally get back out on the field,” head coach Chris Morelli said. “It’s been a long time and the kids are fired up to play. I’m glad we’re starting the season off with a home game.”
Winter sports — basketball, bowling, flag football, skiing and wrestling — are set to return Nov. 25.
Spring sports — baseball, boys golf, boys volleyball, softball, swimming and diving and track and field — are set to start March 3.
“The NIAA as an association is excited about returning to a full scale of operations for all of our sports and methods we’re used to implementing on a sport-by-sport basis,” said NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson.
The NIAA will not require COVID-19 testing this upcoming season or place a limit on fan attendance. However, local authorities could impose stricter guidelines.
“The responsibility for implementation and enforcement of COVID-19 related health measures for schools rests with school districts, charter school sponsors and private school leaders,” the statement said. “The NIAA does not anticipate issuing further COVID-19 related guidance and/or restrictions.”
Updates on any changes related to COVID-19 and its effect on high school athletics will be provided as they become available.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.