In General News, Press Releases

The New Mexico Activities Association announced some changes for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.

The first change involves the maximum/minimum number of games/contests permitted by a team.  Schools will now be required to complete their entire district schedule (as determined by the district) to be eligible for state.

New bylaw 7.6.6.B reads:  Schools must compete within the assigned district (as determined by the NMAA) and must complete their entire district schedule, as determined by the district, in order to qualify for the post season. Districts must minimally schedule to play each school in the assigned district one time. Exception: Golf, Spirit and Swimming and Diving. District play must be completed prior to state tournament seeding and selection.

“In the past, schools could forfeit district games and still maintain their post-season eligibility,” said NMAA Associate Director Dusty Young.  “This new bylaw now helps the NMAA avoid being put in a precarious position of seeding/selecting schools that may not have the capability of participating at the state tournament.”

The member schools also passed a new bylaw giving the Executive Director the ability to penalize individuals/fans for unruly behavior, or member schools who have consistent sportsmanship issues.

BYLAW 7.7.4: A school is responsible for the conduct of its team, coaches, students, and fans at any interscholastic event in which the school is participating. The Executive Director may invoke penalties upon a member school for actions which violate the principles of “Compete with Class.” These actions include, but are not limited to, hindering the normal progress of an event, creating situations that may lead to the restriction or discontinuance of interscholastic competition, or endangering or threatening the personal safety of any individuals involved. Unsportsmanlike conduct by coaches, students, and or spectators may cause the school or individual to be placed on probation or suspension for 180 school days/365 calendar days.

“The new bylaw will assist in addressing and correcting unruly behavior in our state,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez.

The final bylaw passed by the member schools adjusted the language involving the undue influence of a student so that it applies to all individuals associated with a school, even if they are not directly part of the school staff.

Bylaws 1.8, 6.1.3, 7.4.3: The use of any of the following inducements by any person directly or indirectly associated with a student or school, including adults and parents, to secure or encourage the attendance of a student for athletic purposes constitutes undue influence, resulting in ineligibility for all high school athletic participation for 180 school days/365 calendar days.

“We were beginning to see coaches use parents and club coaches to recruit athletes to their schools/programs,” said Marquez. “Also, there has been an increase in parents and club coaches ‘shopping around’ their student-athlete, which can put coaches in a compromising position. Hopefully this new language puts a stop to that practice.”

All 3 items will be in effect immediately for the 2018-2019 school year.

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