If planning is your thing, bummer.

The long-overdue return of high school sports has been as much of a blessing as it has been a curse for the detail-oriented types. Case in point is Friday, when schools around the state were supposed to finalize their basketball schedules and have them ready for distribution by Monday.

As of Wednesday, most of them were still unavailable, despite the fact the prep basketball season starts its slew of games Saturday.

For a few days in early April, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime alignment of the stars when all three prep sports seasons are going on at once. The traditional fall slate wraps up with the state soccer tournament, the winter sports calendar gets into full swing with basketball and every spring sport gets started with preseason practices April 5.

Go ahead. Try it. Map out the next few weeks and see how it goes. Type in your team’s schedule, cross-reference it with a few others and try to hammer out the details of what it all means.

It’s basically like this: The next few days? Solid as a rock. You can see as clearly into the immediate future as you can the back of your hand at arm’s length.

But wait, hang on a second. That state championship event scheduled for one city but moved to another without the fanfare announcement that usually comes with such news? Slipped under the radar because it’s passed by word of mouth, which is standard procedure in the time of COVID-19.

Same, too, with flip-flopping one opponent for another (looking at you, Española Valley football) based on the number of available players you have this week. And how about teams that just pop up almost overnight and are suddenly back in the fold (hello, Monte del Sol boys soccer and, while we’re at it, all of Albuquerque Public Schools).

How about those district alignments no one seems to have an answer for? Some coaches aren’t sure who is or isn’t in their current alignment, particularly in the smaller classifications.

While we’re at it, those football bowl championship games we’ve been hearing about for weeks? Gone. Word leaked out Wednesday that there will be no state champions crowned in football, and that the weekend of April 2-3 (the same weekend as the volleyball state championships) will be reserved for one final game for schools wishing to play one.

The opponents for those games? No one knows. The NMAA will presumably let us know before the teams take the field. That would be nice.

So how’s that daily planner coming? Next week starts to get a little fuzzy. After that comes a thick fog of uncertainty because the dates and times you have now don’t really apply because COVID-19 has a tendency to shake the table of your little house of cards. Trying to see as far down the road as late April is like staring into that fog and trying to imagine what’s behind it.

The only certainty in all of this is uncertainty.

Welcome to the incredibly bizarre world of the 2020-21 high school sports season.

Will Webber is the sports editor of The New Mexican. To reach him, send an email to wwebber@sfnewmexican.com.

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