NMAA lifts ban on prep sports; new state schedule out

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By Dave Kavanaugh

In response to the reopening of 16 schools in southern half of the state, the New Mexico Activities Association has lifted its suspension of high school sports effective on Wednesday.

As a result, the usual round of spring sports championship events will indeed be staged, albeit with a revised "Plan C" schedule, also released on Wednesday. The revised schedule contains several differences from the tentative one issued on Monday. (See the weekend print edition of the Optic for a full explanation and the schedule.)

NMAA officials had issued a ban on all high school sports practices and events this past Sunday afternoon, shortly after the state Public Education Department and Department of Health closed schools in Socorro, Deming, Carlsbad and Lordsburg due to reported cases of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu. NMAA officials Gary Tripp and Robert Zayas said their action was prompted by a desire to ensure competitive equity since student-athletes at those schools were prohibited from practicing while their schools were closed.

But by Wednesday, state officials, acting on new recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control, ruled that the schools closed could reopen.

For more on the situation, please see the print version of the Optic on Friday.