Local coaches, players hope Gov. Sisolak will relax COVID-19 restrictions on youth sports

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Changes could be coming this week for COVID-19 standards in Nevada, including the possible return of youth sports.

However, the big question remains: What exactly is going to happen?

Governor Steve Sisolak says he plans to lift certain restrictions on youth sports soon. He is expected to announce the update this week, according to his office, but no other details were released.

Coaches around town say they are ready to get their players off the bench and back onto the field.

The COVID-19 pandemic put the pause on the plays, but Kevin McIntosh, a U9 girls’ soccer coach for the Southern Nevada Soccer Association, hopes Gov. Sisolak gets the ball rolling on relaxing the rules.

“Normally, this season would have started the weekend after Labor Day, so we would have already been a couple of games in,” McIntosh said. “I would love to be able to just be able to get some scrimmages together, get some practices, just so you can get the kids out and play.”

McIntosh says getting games going might be a little hard right now.

“There are so many kids that don’t have teams, and I think that would be difficult for them to try to match them up, get coaches out there,” he said. “That’s always the most difficult thing for any of these [recreational] leagues; it’s finding volunteer parents-coaches to get out there.”

But for McIntosh and his 8-year-old soccer-playing daughter Piper, it is more about being together with the team.

“I’d be really excited for that because I get to see more people and play more,” Piper McIntosh said.

Cedric Allen, who is the head coach for Junior Diamondbacks Youth Football, says his teams are doing unofficial, contact-less practices right now. But if Gov. Sisolak gives the green light for games in Nevada, Allen says it is something he is ready to tackle.

“It wouldn’t take too long,” Allen said. “I think you could start having a regular season, normal season within a month, or three weeks. It’s not how you start — it’s how you finish.”

But McIntosh adds, protecting the players is the number one priority.

“You want them to play, but at the same time, you want them to be safe,” McIntosh said.

Gov. Sisolak is also expected to announce an update to the group gathering limit in Nevada this week. Right now, it remains at 50 people or less.

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