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COVID-19 forces big changes for upcoming Nevada interscholastic sports schedules

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Photos of Spring Valley High School located near Buffalo and Spring Mountain in Las Vegas as seen on July 17, 2020
Photos of Spring Valley High School located near Buffalo and Spring Mountain in Las Vegas as seen on July 17, 2020
Photos of Spring Valley High School located near Buffalo and Spring Mountain in Las Vegas as seen on July 17, 2020
Photos of Spring Valley High School located near Buffalo and Spring Mountain in Las Vegas as seen on July 17, 2020
Photos of Spring Valley High School located near Buffalo and Spring Mountain in Las Vegas as seen on July 17, 2020
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 08:34:16-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE: 9:30 P.M.: Parents, staff and student-athletes are now facing a number of schedule changes after Nevada athletic authorities announced postponed and shortened sport seasons to play it safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to push back sports like baseball is concerning for parents like Tiffany Miller.

Her son Andrew Miller played for Cimarron Memorial High School last year, but the season abruptly ended.

"I can tell you, from when my son's season ended he was devastated," said Miller.

"Obviously, he missed out on many things, his senior game, it was just devastation of not being around those guys," added Miller.

Miller says the prospect of postponed and shortened seasons over coronavirus concerns has put a lot of student-athletes in a tough spot for scholarships and professional opportunities.

"By not having the season [last school year] they lost out, now that COVID continuing as it has this summer, it has been so tough on these kids to be able to be seen, so videos have been extremely, extremely important this summer," said Miller.

On Thursday, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) announced all sports for the 2020-21 school year would be impacted with fall sports not scheduled to start until Feb. 2021.

I understand being safe, it's not just because we want sports, it's because we want our kids to be healthy and to experience everything that's going on," said Heather Cousin's, mother of five.

Cousins wanted her son to play football for Las Vegas High School.

She worries about the damage caused by a lack of activity and social interaction.

"I find it to be extremely disappointing, I feel like kids need to be out there, doing sports, they definitely need to be continuing to build up their immune systems," added Miller.

ORIGINAL STORY: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges faced by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) member schools, the NIAA has made changes that have impacted the sports seasons for the 2020-21 school year.

Fall sports are being pushed back to Feb. 2021. Football practice is now set to begin on Feb. 13 and all other fall sports being pushed back to Feb. 20.

At this time, it is anticipated that there will not be State Tournaments for the 2020-21 school year.

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The adjustments were reviewed by and have the unanimous support of the NIAA Legislative Commission which is made up of the superintendents of each Nevada school district with an NIAA member high school.

Here are the sports scheduled start times (by season):

Winter Season Sports (6 competitive weeks):
Practice begins Saturday, January 2, 2021
First contest may be held Friday, January 15, 2021
Last contest Saturday, February 20, 2021

Fall Season Sports (6 competitive weeks):
Practice begins Saturday, February 20, 2021 (all sports except Football)
Practice begins Saturday, February 13, 2021 (Football)
First contest may be held Friday, March 5, 2021
Last contest Saturday, April 10, 2021

RELATED: Teachers relieved to hear CCSD distance learning recommendation

Spring Season Sports (6 competitive weeks):
Practice begins Saturday, April 3, 2021
First contest may be held Friday, April 16, 2021
Last contest Saturday, May 22, 2021

Other key points due to the schedule changes:
• Out of season regulations (regulations traditionally in place during the summer) will be in place through January 1, 2021.

• These are the scheduled dates for when NIAA sanctioned sports are offered. Participation in NIAA sanctioned sports is at the option of member schools and their districts.

• Playoff considerations are at the discretion of individual Classifications, Regions, and/or leagues. The 6 competitive weeks would include any playoffs. At this time, it is anticipated that there will not be State Tournaments.

• The holding of practices and competitions are subject to a government directive, orders from state and local health departments, the restrictions associated with the phase of reopening in place at the time, and local district and school mandates.

For the full NIAA statement, click here.