High school sports canceled this weekend in 8 counties
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All outdoor high school sports activities in eight counties in Nevada and California have been canceled for Friday and the weekend because of the continued poor air quality due to wildfire smoke.
That includes football season openers.
The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association made the announcement Thursday. Executive Director Eddie Bonine says that, with approval, teams can play in other counties where the air quality index is in the healthy range of 50 or less.
"If those schools are able to find counties, i.e. Pershing County, it's 100 miles from here and if their air quality is 0-50 and below and green, [that's fine.] I just received some communication with some Washoe County schools that are going to compete against one another out in Pershing County. All new--that's never happened before."
Bonine says there is no set policy for when to cancel outdoor sporting events due to air quality concerns, but he's been closely monitoring the situation and working with several school superintendents to make that call.
"And right now, with the uncertainty, there's no one football game, one soccer game, one cross-country meet, that was going to be worth it for any child to be put in harm's way. That would be maybe a difference of opinion--some people think you can; some people say you can't--and we just erred on the side of caution."
Along with student athletes, Bonine also had to consider the health of band members, cheerleaders, referees, and spectators.
Bonine says he will reevaluate the situation early next week when league play is set to begin.