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Posted: March 3, 2021

APS High School Sports to Resume

Full practices and even some competitions may begin the week of March 22

Albuquerque Public Schools is ready to play ball. The district has worked out a plan with the New Mexico Public Education Department to allow high school athletes to compete in all state-sanctioned sports this spring.

Beginning the week of March 8, students at the 13 APS comprehensive high schools will work out in small groups, known as pods, for 14 days as required by the state. If there are no COVID-19 outbreaks during that time, teams may begin full practices and even some games and competitions the week of March 22.

Fall sports including football, soccer, volleyball, and cross country will compete within the district on an abbreviated schedule. They won’t be able to travel out of district because their season, which will start a couple of weeks later than many others in the state, doesn’t align with the New Mexico Activities Association’s calendar.

Winter sports such as basketball, cheer and dance, and spring sports such as baseball, softball, and track will be included in NMAA competitions.

Teams have been given the choice to participate, so not all sports will be represented by all schools.

At this time, spectators won’t be allowed to attend practices or competitions. All teams will abide by COVID safe practices and public health orders.

Games and meets for fall sports could take place as early as the week of March 22. Competitions for winter sports are scheduled to start after spring break at the end of March. The APS Athletics Department hopes to post a schedule of events by mid-March.

High school athletics is allowed to resume because the PED, which has tied sports to hybrid learning, approved plans by APS high schools that offer voluntary small group, in-person learning on all campuses beginning the week of March 8.

“There are lots of reasons why we fought to resume high school athletics this spring,” said Interim Superintendent Scott Elder. “Not only do sports keep kids fit, help improve academics, and teach teamwork, leadership skills, and time management. But maybe most importantly for students in the midst of a pandemic, they allow for social relationships that have been so missed over the past year. We are grateful to all of those who came together to make this happen for our students.”

APS has about 3,000 high school student athletes.