Schools are scrambling to reschedule sports games to keep students safe from mosquito-borne illnesses.
"In the weeks to come it is now a scheduling nightmare for all the AD's," said Marlborough School District Athletic Director Jeff Rudzinsky.
The shift is being made at schools throughout Central Massachusetts to hold all games before dusk to avoid the possibly infected mosquitoes that come out at that time. Marlborough is listed at a high level of risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
This meant the rescheduling of tonight's football game against Shrewsbury High School to 5 p.m. from 7 p.m.
Every sport is affected by the shift that has seen area athletic directors coordinating earlier games. The schedules will continue to be in flux for some time, said Rudzinsky.
"We need to push them up time-wise, reschedule, et cetera," he said before encouraging parents to check back on the game schedules.
The shift not only affects high school level sports, but also youth programs which mainly practice in the evenings, he said.
Area officials are all coming together to respond to the risk, said Rudzinsky.
"The experts are saying you need to continue it 'till the first realy hard frost for mosquitoes," said Rudzinsky.