The New Mexico Activities Association announced on Friday changes to the summer and fall sports seasons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic given the information available to them now, that will bring some major changes to the next few months of high school athletics and activities.
Normally, the NMMA takes a hands-off approach to summer and summer workouts, allowing school districts to determine what is best for them in terms of camps and workouts.
However, due to this year’s unusual circumstances, the NMMA will be regulating summer activities. What exactly that will look like is still unclear, however.
“We didn’t talk about exactly what summer was going to look like, but the vote came down that the NMAA will regulate the summer for the 2020 summer activities,” NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez said. “It’s for this summer only.
“We usually do not regulate the summer activities, that is up to the schools as to how the coaches are going to do camps and tournaments and practice and things like that.
“However, the Board voted today that the NMAA will regulate summer and we will send out guidelines as to what’s going to happen and what coaches can and cannot do.”
Traditionally, the start of the summer period is Memorial Day weekend, but this year the start will be pushed back a few days until at least after the next board of directors meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 28.
As far as activities, things will run a little bit differently, as many organizations have announced virtual competitions for this summer, including speech and debate and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
As a result, the board voted to allow clubs to register for those events and begin to prepare for them virtually.
They’re going to have some national competitions. It was decided, by the Board, that at this time they can register for those activities,” Marquez said. “They can start preparing virtually for those activities and they will be able to compete in those competitions virtually this summer.”
Also notable for the fall, is every student athlete will come into the fall semester with a clean academic slate, meaning their academic performance from this spring won’t have an impact on whether they are eligible to play in the fall.
“For athletes, scholastic eligibility is a clean slate. What does a clean slate mean? In our bylaws for 8th graders and 9th graders, when they are starting athletics in the fall for the first time, they get a clean slate.
“That means you do not look back at the previous grading period, the previous semester, for eligibility. They are automatically scholastically eligible. The Board of Directors voted today that all student athletes, no matter the grade, will get a clean slate. So, all student athletes will be eligible scholastically and we are not going to look back at this semester’s grades for eligibility in the fall.”
Once the fall semester gets underway, the typical grading rules will take over again, with students needed to maintain a 2.0 grade point average and not have any F’s in order to be eligible to continue competing.
The organization also discussed what to do about officials and rules clinics, which are traditionally held in person.
“We do not know how many people can be in a room in the fall and throughout the year, but it was more about the budgets and helping the schools financially so they don’t have to travel somewhere for a rules clinic,” Marquez said. So, we will do our rules clinics virtually next year.
“Also, the officials clinic will be done virtually. We will not be hosting the officials’ clinic at the end of July.”
No decision has been made regarding physicals for the upcoming season, and more discussion is scheduled for the May 28 meeting