ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Activities Association’s board of directors has delayed the start of high school sports by four weeks until February as coronavirus cases continue to increase across the state.
Association Executive Director Sally Marquez said the board voted Wednesday that Feb. 1 is the latest the association would be able to get all sports played this academic year, condensing some sports from 10-week regular seasons to six or seven weeks.
The new schedule allows fall sports — including football, cross-country, volleyball and soccer — to begin preseason workouts on Feb. 1, with live events a few days later.
Winter sports — including basketball, swimming and wrestling — are now allowed to begin in late March and traditional spring sports will maintain their current start date of April 5.
The decision is dependent on Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who could approve or deny the start date for any activity.
“Looking at the current state of COVID at this point, I’m trying to be proactive because I do not want to have happen (what happened) with the fall sports, where they started their season and then got the rug pulled from under them,” Marquez said.
She added: “The calendar still does allow all sports to play in the 2020-21 school year. That is still the goal. Not ready to throw in the towel for that, either.”
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
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