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The New Mexico Activities Association has delayed the start of the cross country and fall golf, less than two weeks after the modified schedule for sports was released.

The change comes in the wake of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement that schools would remain online only through at least Labor Day, with a phased-in approach to returning students to the classroom on a part-time basis to follow, beginning with the youngest students.

Under the original plan, fall golf and cross country were scheduled to begin on September 14, with the cross country season wrapping up with the state championships on November 13-14.

Now, the start has been pushed to Monday, October 5, the same day the volleyball season is scheduled to begin. Competition for all three will begin five days later on October 10.

Golf will have its championships next summer, so the date for those is unchanged, taking place June 21-22. The final day of fall golf is now November 14.

The championships for cross country, however, will be pushed to the first weekend in December, taking place December 4-5, with district meets taking place the weekend before, November 27-28.

As of Monday, July 27, no other changes to the schedule have been made. Volleyball is the only other sport scheduled to take place in the fall semester.

In the time between the first day of school and the start of in person learning, whenever that may be, the NMAA has instituted a dead period prohibiting teams from holding practices or workouts.

This leaves a roughly three week dead period between the start of school and when hybrid learning will begin, depending on the exact date schools move into a hybrid set up, where no practices will be held in any sport. Virtual workouts and team meetings are allowed, but no face-to-face time.

“We’ve always said that if our kids are in remote learning, as set by the governor’s office and the Public Education Department, then there’s no athletics and activities,” NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said in a release.

“That’s what happened in mid-March, April and May of this year. Since the governor announced that we are in remote learning from the first day of school until after Labor Day, and then after Labor Day it’s going to go elementary school and middle school and high school, our students will be remote learning from the first day of school until, really, the end of September.”

In that remote learning time, we cannot have athletic and activities. We are calling it a ‘dead period’ so there is no in-person connection between a coach and the student athlete.”

Sports writer

Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.

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