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Peñasco Panther Jennifer Aguilar keeps a rally going during the third game against Monte del Sol in 2019. Volleyball, golf and cross-country will all take place as scheduled in the fall, but football and soccer have been postponed to early 2021 in an effort to prevent student athletes from falling ill with a novel coronavirus, according to the New Mexico Activities Association.

Updated: On July 24, the NMAA updated its sports schedules for cross-country, golf and volleyball – which will all now start their seasons on Oct. 5. Originally, cross-country and golf were slated for Sep. 14. 

On Wednesday (July 15) the New Mexico Activities Association presented its sports calendar, which shows a majority of sports seasons - including football and basketball - will begin some time in the spring semester.

For example, football, which usually starts in August, will see the season start on Feb. 22 and with the state playoffs taking place between late April and early May.

Basketball, on the other hand, will have the season start on Jan. 4 instead of the usual late November or early December start date. However, the NMAA still has the state basketball tournament scheduled for March.

There are three sports, for now, that will still have seasons this fall: golf, cross-country and volleyball. While the cross-country and golf seasons will start on Sep. 14, volleyball will begin on Oct. 5.

Soccer will begin its season on Feb. 22 and will have the state tournament in April.

Softball, baseball, wrestling, tennis, track and field and golf - which also happens in the spring - will begin their seasons on April 5. All six sports will see the state championship or tournament happen in June. Swimming and diving begins the season on Jan. 4.

NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez said that seasons will be shortened. Basketball, for example, will have 18 games instead of 26.

"We are looking at 10 weeks per sport. We are going to be consistent across the board, and maybe 12 weeks for spring," Marquez said. "The game limitations have decreased. … It is not going to be normal but our kids are going to be able to compete."

For now, Marquez said state championships and their dates are "to be determined" because a variety of factors may shift those dates.

There will also be no overnight travel for teams, and Marquez said she asked athletic directors around the state to make sure that no teams will be staying at hotels.

Marquez said if two football teams are far apart - and staying at a hotel seems the right thing to do - for those two teams to instead talk it out, and maybe find a place in the middle where the game can be played.

Having fans in the stands, for now, is unclear and Marquez said that currently the NMAA is preparing to figure out how to livestream all sporting events.

"It's fluid and we do not know at this time," Marquez said when asked if fans will be able to attend live sporting events. However, she said, "We are trying right now to make sure if there aren't fans in the stands that we are streaming every contest."

The sports calendar was released a week after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a press conference to New Mexicans that fall contact sports would not be permitted - and when the NMAA announced that both football and soccer would be moving over to the spring semester.

As of press time (July 20), New Mexico had more than 17,517 cases of COVID-19 statewide and 588 people have died from complications related to the virus, according to the New Mexico Department of Health as of press time (July 21).

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