In a perfect world — one we are not in right now, the first games of the revamped high school sports season was scheduled to begin this past weekend.

That deadline came and went with no basketball games or wrestling matches and it appears the state of Nevada won’t be seeing any of those sports taking place anytime soon.

Under Directive 034 by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, basketball, wrestling, football and close contact cheer and dance are prohibited.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association and schools in Nevada have pleaded with Sisolak to relax the directive in recent weeks. Despite the efforts, Sisolak has made it clear he will not make changes to Directive 034 and let the sports play.

The winter season sports of skiing and flag football are permitted under Directive 034 to practice and hold competitions. Practices in these two sports were allowed to begin on Jan. 2 under the provisions of Directive 034 and the guidance issued by the NIAA for those sports. 

State superintendents met last Thursday and the NIAA had a conference call with schools on Friday and the news was not good.

“Despite all of our efforts with and communication to the governor’s office staff, we do not anticipate any change to Directive 034 in the near future,” said assistant director of the NIAA, Donnie Nelson. “We are, however, still keeping the basketball and wrestling seasons on the docket for the time being. We will cancel those seasons if/when appropriate — but not just yet. And, of course, we understand why there are no changes forthcoming — so many challenges still in our state.”

The high school football season is slated to start Feb. 13, with the first games on March 5. However, since the sport is currently on the banned list, it will not start on time, if at all.

The sports of volleyball, cross country, soccer, girls golf and tennis can begin practice on Feb. 20. The first games are scheduled for March 5 and conclude on April 10.

Coaches, managers, officials/referees, and team staff are required to take a COVID-19 test prior to the start of the season or resumption of athletic activity. Tests should be completed as close to the beginning of the start of the season as possible. It is strongly encouraged that tests take place every other week during a season. It is strongly recommended, but not mandatory, that all players/athletes test for COVID-19 prior to the start of the season. 

If a coach, manager, player/athlete, student manager or team personnel of the same team tests positive for COVID-19, the entire team (if they had been in close contact with the positive individual) must quarantine for 14 days. All team activities and practices must be canceled for 14 days during the quarantine period. 

If a household member of a coach, manager, player/athlete, student manager or team personnel of the same team tests positive for COVID-19, that coach, manager, player/athlete, student manager or team personnel must notify the school administration and/or NIAA and must cease all activities with the team for 14 days from the most recent exposure even if she/he tested negative. 

If a coach, manager, player/athlete, student manager or team personnel becomes sick with or tests positive for COVID-19, they are to notify the school administration and/or NIAA. They must cease all athletic activity and participation and must be suspended until 10 days of home isolation are completed and symptoms have resolved for at least 24 hours after that. Cases which continue to be symptomatic cannot return to participation even if test results are negative. 

“We do not expect any changes to the practice/competition schedule for those sports,” the NIAA said. 

There are no banned sports for spring sports, which is scheduled to start practice on April 3, with the first contests on April 16. The season will conclude on May 22. Spring sports in Northern Nevada include baseball, softball, track and field, swimming and boys golf.

Participation in specific NIAA sports seasons is optional for schools and/or districts.

The NIAA will continue to prepare for and carry out seasons for as many schools as wish to participate in as many NIAA sports as are permitted to be conducted during the 2020-21 adjusted sports seasons.

“To reiterate the obvious, schools/districts must be in some form of at least a hybrid learning model in order to be eligible to participate in NIAA sanctioned competitions,” the NIAA said.