NIAA announces sports to be delayed

NIAA announces sports to be delayed

The fall, winter and spring sporting seasons will be delayed for the 2020-21 school year, as announced by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association on July 23. They cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant challenges faced by NIAA member schools as reasons for the adjustments.

I am glad that the NIAA is attempting to provide a shortened season for all of the sports,” athletic administrator Yvonne Arguello said. “For coaches and many students, and especially the seniors, it will give them a chance to compete in the sport(s) they love. They will be able to develop good memories of their seasons, friendships and lessons learned from the challenging time we are all currently in.”

According to the document published on the NIAA website, the winter season will start practices on January 2, 2021. The first matches of the season can take place on Jan. 15, and the last on Feb. 20.

“I am very excited that CCSD and NIAA decided to put forth a schedule to provide hope for our student athletes,” varsity women’s basketball head coach Billy Hemberger said. “In a time like this, we only care that these kids get the chance to participate, so it is important that we don’t worry about a condensed season.”

Fall sports teams may begin to practice on Feb. 20, with football being the exception, starting practice on Feb. 13. The team’s first games can take place starting March 5, with the season ending on April 10.

“Honestly, if you really want [to win] for your sport, you’re going to train,” senior linebacker Adrian Alek said. “You’re not going to sit around all day and wait for practice to start; you’re going to go out and train by yourself. We still want to stay fit; we will want to be ready so we don’t go into these six games and look terrible. Even though there’s no playoffs or super bowl, we still do our best for our futures.”

The spring season will come last, with practices starting on April 3. The first matches of this season will occur on April 16, and the last will take place on May 22.

“Pole vaulting will be a challenge,” senior pole vaulter Evan Simmons said. “Six weeks is not enough to be completely where you would be at your best. It’s scary getting back into it, and I [will not have] touched a pole in a year at the point when the season rolls back around. And when you haven’t touched it in so long, it’s a fear thing that you have to overcome, and it takes a few weeks just to get over that. So by the time the six weeks is over, we’ll be barely warmed up and ready to start the season.”

While the NIAA adjusted the seasons, the organization noted that the decision to participate in competitions this year will be left to each individual school district and the schools within those districts. Arguello has stated that the decision will come down to the current state of the pandemic, both state- and nationwide.

If it is safe for the coaches, students and community, we will participate in the shortened season,” Arguello said. “If the risk continues to be high, then we will base our decisions on the safety of our Grizzly community.”

The document also added that all competitions must follow the government regulations, and the six weeks per season will include playoffs. The NIAA is anticipating that there will be no state championships this year.

“This year is not about winning championships,” Hemberger said. “It is about getting out there to enjoy the sport you love to play. It seems we would be able to compete for a regional title anyway, and I joked that ‘Reno doesn’t win anything anyway.’ But I will definitely miss the experience of being at state.”