NMAA releases sports schedule
Football to run February through May, with early weeks coinciding with basketball.
Last updated 7/16/2020 at 12:21pm
Gridiron championships in early May, not December. Fall sports seasons that don't begin until September. Spring sports championships that extend weeks beyond some of the participants' graduations.
That's the plan for now, as the New Mexico Activities Association released its updated calendar for all activities Wednesday morning.
The massive shift in seasons became a necessity last week, when the governor's office announced football and soccer would be delayed until the spring due to the spread of COVID-19.
Sally Marquez, executive director for the NMAA, said plans are subject to change and everybody has to be flexible, including allowing athletes to play two sports at once and neutral-site contests to eliminate overnight travel. She noted a student-athlete emailed her and compared the process to putting a jigsaw puzzle back together after the dog eats half of the pieces and you lost the box with the photo.
“What we are doing is ever-changing,” Marquez said, "and from day to day we don’t know what this thing is going to look like.” The guiding directive, Marquez said, is to make decisions in the best interests of student-athletes.
The plan for school districts is to open in various models that incorporate in-person and online learning. Marquez said as long as there is some percentage of in-person schooling, school districts can make their own decisions on whether student-athletes can practice in person on days they attend school virtually.
If the Public Education Department at any point pushes all school to an online model or cancels instruction altogether, Marquez said, sports simply can't take place.
Some championships go as late as June 26. Marquez noted many of the athletes participating lost spring seasons in 2020 already, and extending the calendar to give them opportunities seemed appropriate.Around 85% of school superintendents, Marquez said, have no issue with seasons extending beyond graduation.
Marquez is hopeful fans will be allowed in games, but she is preparing for any scenario possible including internet streaming, ticketless entry and temperature checks.
Season openings and championships are listed below alphabetically:
Baseball: Begins April 5, championships June 21-26.
Basketball: Begins Jan. 4, championships March 1-13.
Cross country: Begins Sept. 14, championships Nov. 13-14.
Football: Begins Feb. 22, championships May 1 for six-man and eight-man; May 8 for Classes 2A-6A.
Golf: Fall season Sept. 14-Nov. 14. Spring season begins April 5, championships June 21-22.
Soccer: Begins Feb. 15, championships April 12-17.
Softball: Begins April 5, championships June 21-26.
Spirit: Begins Sept. 14, championships March 26-27.
Swimming and diving: Begins Jan. 4, championships March 13 and 20
Tennis: Begins April 5, championships June 14-19.
Track and field: Begins April 5, championships June 17-19 for Classes 1A-3A, June 24-26 for Classes 4A and 5A.
Volleyball: Begins Oct. 5, quarterfinals Dec. 4-5, semifinals and finals Dec. 7-12.
Wrestling: Begins April 5, championships June 7-12.