NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –  The New Mexico Activities Association says the number of districts that have opted out of competing in athletics this school year has increased from 20 to 29. One hundred school districts have opted in for competitions.

In Wednesday morning’s meeting, the board voted to ban student-athletes at schools that have opted out from transferring to schools that have opted in to compete. “Multiple transfers that will occur due to remote learning and hybrid learning it would displace kids,” said Sally Marquez, NMAA executive director.

The NMAA is waiting on a decision from seven school districts including Rio Rancho to see if their student-athletes will compete in sports starting next month. While Albuquerque Public Schools is staying with remote learning, that means students can’t play sports or take part in part or other New Mexico Activities Association.

“I feel for all the kids in fall sports, I feel for the kids in winter sports. The spring sports got taken away last year. I really hope that by the time we get closer to spring sports we can at least get that in,” said Scott Elder in a Wednesday board meeting, APS interim superintendent.

Meanwhile, football is up first, schools that have been in a hybrid learning model for at least 14 days will be eligible to start playing on March 6. “We’re confident that we can play with covid safe guidelines and we’re looking forward to starting. Now, we’ll see how we’re going to finish,” said Marquez.

COVID-19 has wiped out the entire 2020 season for spring sports while the fall was delayed. The NMAA expects to hear from all school districts whether they will compete or not by the end of the week. Winter sports like basketball should start in late March. Spring sports such as baseball could start in early April and run into late June, well after graduation.