LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Governor Steve Sisolak has signed an emergency directive allowing full- and close- contact sports to resume.
Before the directive, sports including ice hockey, basketball and water polo were not permitted to hold practices and competitions. Those sports now will be permitted to resume play, so long as state requirements are met.
The state requires the sports organizations to submit a preparedness and safety plan prior to beginning games, matches or league play.
In addition, full-contact sports organizations, clubs, associations, leagues must also implement a COVID-19 testing and mitigation plan prior to resuming competitions, games, matches, or league play. The state encourages organizers of full-contact sports to work with their local health authority on developing a testing and mitigation plan.
Individuals participating in full-contact sports that are not organized through a recreational league, club, or other association (ex: pick-up basketball games) are not required to submit a Preparedness and Safety Plan and are not required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to participating.
At the beginning of the pandemic, basketball rims and hoops were taken down at all city parks in Henderson but as of Tuesday morning, they are all going back up.
“We have 67 parks, generally there is at least one basketball court per park… It is probably going to take three to four days to get them all up,” Doug Guild, Park Superintendent for the City of Henderson told FOX5. Guild reports his office has been getting constant calls and e-mails inquiring when courts would reopen.
“I alone probably get 5 or 6 per day,” Guild shared.
“The kids were hurting, the kids wanted that outlet,” argued Mark St. John, Head Coach of Team Vegas Water Polo. St. John has been advocating for months reaching out to state health officials asking them to allow water polo to resume.
Since July, water polo players in Nevada have only been able to get in the pool while maintaining 6-foot social distance. No contact during practice and no games were allowed.
Player Nathan Jobian is more than ready for that first game back.
“If we can go back to school, then we should be able to have contact water polo because school is probably where COVID is going to be spread the most,” the 7th grader contended.
With the reopening of their basketball courts, Henderson parks will no longer have any COVID closures. The city’s adult and youth basketball leagues will return in June.
A copy of Nevada guidance for adult and youth sports, dated March 30, is available below: