Cross country and golf's fall start dates delayed three weeks, tentatively set for Oct. 5

Matthew Asher, Carlsbad Current-Argus

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tentative start dates for cross country and golf will be delayed by three weeks.

Both fall sports were scheduled to begin on Sept. 14, but will now start on Oct. 5.

The state cross country championships have been moved from Nov. 13-14 to Dec. 4-5.

Updated cross country guidelines

While the NMAA plans to have cross country events in 2020, there are a lot of new rules and regulations for the coaches and participants to follow in accordance with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's health guidelines.

Per an email the NMAA sent out to cross country coaches on July 24, upcoming meets will be limited to 100 people per event.

"This includes athletes, coaches and event workers," the email stated. "No spectators will be allowed into competitions."

Anyone attending a meet, including runners, must wear a mask or face shield at all times. A doctor's note is required for an exemption to this requirement.

To avoid crowds, team camps are not allowed.

Runners aren't allowed to show up until 15 minutes before a race to avoid congregating, and starting lines must have 6 feet of space in between runners.

New Mexico Activities Association Executive Director Sally Marquez said media outlets will be allowed to cover events.

"We will work on our media policy in these times," Marquez said. 

Additional NMAA Cross Country Guidelines

  • Restrooms must be provided and sanitized after each use. The host team is responsible for providing workers to consistently sanitize the restrooms.
  • Teams must remain in their vehicles until it is time to warm up and get ready for their races. Following each race, teams must immediately cool down and retreat to their vehicles.
  • Course must be at least 6 feet wide throughout the entire length of the course.
  • No finish line chute at the end of the race to prevent gathering at the finish line.
  • No awards ceremonies allowed after each race. 
  • Athletes are responsible for their own water. Sharing is not allowed. Coaches may wait at the finish line and provide their own athletes with their own water bottles at the finish line.
  • Staggered races are allowed.

Remaining sports largely unchanged

Wrestling’s revised start time was pushed one week to get underway on April 12. Golf's spring season, track and field, baseball, softball and tennis are still tentatively scheduled to start on April 5. The state championships for those sports will take place in June.

Start times and state championship dates for volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, cheer and spirit, football and soccer have not changed at this time.

Highlights from Saturday's Carlsbad Invitational Cross Country Race.

Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter.