Texas postpones HS sports until May 11

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas officials postponed all public high
school athletic and academic competitions on Wednesday until May 11
because of the swine flu outbreak.

The move suspends the baseball and softball seasons and
eliminates the regional track championships that were to start
Friday, said Charles Breithaupt, executive director of the
University Interscholastic League. He said league officials acted
on the recommendation of public health officials.

"The health and safety of our student activity participants is of the utmost importance," Breithaupt said. "Taking every possible precaution to prevent the further spreading of this disease is an important contribution to the welfare of our great state, and altering the schedule of our events is a way to keep our participants safe."

School officials say 53,000 students are out of school due to
concern over the virus, and dozens of schools were closed to be

The state golf and tennis championships are scheduled to begin
May 11.

The state track meet, one of the largest high school track and
field competitions in the country, has been extended from its
normal two days to three and is scheduled for May 12-14.

All UIL academic competitions, including a state meet that was
to begin May 7, were also postponed and will be rescheduled later.

With 16 confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry
announced a disaster declaration Wednesday for the entire state.
The declaration will allow officials to begin emergency protective
measures and seek reimbursement from the federal government.