Football, Basketball, Wrestling not slated to compete in CCSD COVID-19 Athletic Plan


Wrestling, football, and men’s/women’s basketball are not allowed to compete when their season is set to start. In the plan Clark County School District released on November 9, trustees have labeled those three sports as ‘full/close-contact sports”, and have barred any sports labeled as such from any sort of competition. However, they are still allowed to practice in case the district decides to allow them to compete.

“I’m mixed on it,” head varsity women’s basketball and soccer coach and athletic administrator William Hemberger said. “If it can’t be deemed safe, then we can’t do it. But, what is the difference between [basketball] and volleyball, where they’re sharing a ball around, all hitting the same ball. I guess the contact aspect of things, that’s what is different. But, it’s not my decision to make.”

Also in the plan was protocols schools will have to adhere to in order for sports to commence new semester. With testing, all non-athletes must complete a COVID-19 test before the beginning of the pre-season, which is currently slated to begin on Monday, December 7, 2020.

“The people who are going to be most affected by this are the athletes, so they should [also] be tested” senior wide receiver Connor Beathe said. ”Honestly, I think right now, everyone should be tested. We’re lucky that we are even able to have this conversation, and that we’re able to come up with ideas. We should take no chances.”

CCSD stated in the plan that temperature checks must be done before all athletic events for each person involved in the event. Along with that, each person must complete a COVID screening survey upon arrival at any athletic event, and symptom/exposure checks for all people involved are recommended.

“I am concerned that it is not a safe plan,” head varsity football and softball coach Marcus Teal said. “I feel this plan was rushed into place and I hope that students and faculty will not be at risk for getting sick.  But I do agree we should be back in school.”

If any person has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or says yes to any of the survey questions, they will not be allowed to participate and will be asked to leave and quarantine. Anyone who has come in contact with the person in suspicion will also be asked to leave and quarantine. CCSD noted in the document that officials should help those in suspicion with their departure and clean whatever the persons have touched.

“It’s completely fair, 1000% fair,” Beathe said. ”At the end of the day, you might not have it, you might have it. But the fact that you might actually [have it] is a big enough risk already. It takes one person [to get it], and the entire [program] gets shut down, and there’s no more of whatever sport. If you have the symptoms, you have the symptoms and you’re going to go home.”

If any athlete or any other person involved in the event is confirmed to have COVID-19, any person who has come in contact with the individual must quarantine for 14 days, and all activities for the program over the next 14 days must be cancelled. If any family member tests positive, the family must notify the school and/or NIAA, with the same procedures previously mentioned will take place. All positive people’s confidentiality will be maintained in ordinance of the ADA.

“In the day and age that we’re in, you kind of have to just smile and wave at a lot of different things,” Hemberger said. “On the club side of things, we’ve had some issues. We’ve had some people who have tested positive. You shut it down, you take five steps backwards. But then, you [gauge] yourselves. Make sure everyone is healthy, that’s the most important thing. You get back out there, then you gain your momentum again.”

Similar to the professional sports leagues, there will be no fans in the stands at any district properties. CCSD declared that scrimmages will not be allowed. Meeting rooms will not be allowed for dressing or any half times, and locker rooms are not allowed to be used except for the use of restrooms to certain groups.

“While it would be different for athletes, I think they would be ok with it, as long as they were able to participate in their favorite sport(s),” Arguello said. “We had a plan in place to get access to parents, families, and students to watch events through a program called Pixellot.  Two cameras are being installed on the football field and in the main gym so that events could be recorded for spectators.  This would eliminate any COVID transference to players, coaches, and officials.  It is a way to keep all participants as safe as possible.  Again, safety being the main concern for the administration..”

In the plan, CCSD stated that it is the school’s responsibility to make sure that opposing school’s team is keeping a physical distance of six feet at all times, including when entering and leaving the play area. While leaving it up to each school, CCSD has listed multiple strategies to accomplish this in the document, including staggering scheduling/arrival time and designating certain restrooms for certain groups of people. 

“From a coach’s perspective, I’m going to help the admin group understand what it takes to run a basketball event and a soccer event,” Hemberger said. “I’m going to help them understand the entrance to go in, how they should exit, [where] to tape off areas for people to sit. That’s what the coaches’ role is to do. Instead of me, as the AD, trying to be an expert in all their sports, why not let our head coaches be the ones to fill us in on what happens and we tweak it on the administrative side…”

With the proposed plan, the athletic year will officially begin on January 2, 2021, with the winter teams being the only ones to have practices at that time. The fall and spring teams may begin their practices when their seasons begin.

“If we can compete in a safe environment I am happy to have student-athletes engaged in sports,” Arguello said. “Extracurricular activities are a big part of why students come to school daily and keep their grades up.”