Published Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 | 9:53 a.m.
Updated 2 hours, 43 minutes ago
The Clark County School District is adjusting its high school sports schedule and canceling some games because of a bus shortage.
All nonleague games for the remainder of the fall sports season will be canceled, Tim Jackson, the district’s director of student athletics, said in an email to school athletic officials.
A CCSD spokesman previously said the transportation department needs 1,570 bus drivers to adequately operate but is short about 240 drivers.
In a statement, the district said canceling sports practices and games is a “last option.”
“The district is committed to providing students ongoing access to athletics for this school year. While managing COVID-19 mitigation protocols to optimize the health and safety of student athletes during practices and competitions, our transportation resources and staffing for buses are being impacted like so many school districts across the country,” the statement said.
Additionally, all junior varsity and freshman football games will be moved to Saturday mornings when there are fewer bus trips planned. The change also helps the Southern Nevada Officials Association, which is so short on football referees it is asking schools to provide staff to man the three-person chain crew.
Some cross country meets scheduled for midweek may also be moved to weekends. Friday tennis matches will also be moved to Saturdays.
The email indicated soccer matches in league play will be pushed back by 90 minutes, with varsity games being contested at 4:30 p.m. and junior varsity games at 6 p.m.
The district expects to have schedules updated today.
The high school season is about four weeks old, meaning some teams might not be impacted by the decision. Football, for instance, mostly begins league play this week.
CCSD Chief Operating Officer Mike Casey told parents this month that drivers weren’t laid off during last year’s pandemic-driven school closures, but budgetary uncertainty temporarily put the district under a hiring freeze.
The district is now able to hire, but it can take two months for prospective drivers to complete training, background checks and, for some, obtaining a commercial driver’s license.
“We are trying to address it to the best that we can. It’s just been very difficult,” Casey said during a livestreamed question-and-answer session Sept. 13 with the CCSD Parents Facebook group.
It’s unknown how the transportation constraints will impact the smaller winter sports season of boys and girls basketball, wrestling and girls flag football. The fall season has boys and girls soccer, cross country and tennis, along with girls volleyball and golf, and football.