NMAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPROVES NEW SPORTSMANSHIP BYLAW
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The New Mexico Activities Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a proposed update to sportsmanship bylaws that would include specific penalties for egregious acts of unsportsmanlike conduct. The change must still be approved by the full NMAA membership via a referenda vote. This process will take place over the next few weeks and if approved by the majority of member schools, the new policy will be enacted beginning with the 2023-2024 school year.
“We believe more concrete and stringent penalties are necessary to help eliminate egregious acts of behavior that do not coincide with the principles of our Compete with Class initiative,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez.
The updated bylaw now specifies the possibility of suspension of a team/fan from athletic activities for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and included the following verbiage:
- Any time an egregious act of unsportsmanlike conduct by a team participant, including a coach, occurs two or more times during the same season, at the same school, in the same activity, the team will be suspended from participation in that activity for the remainder of the season.
- Any time an egregious act of unsportsmanlike conduct by a non-team participant occurs two or more times during the same season, at the same school, in the same activity, the non-team member, along with all school spectators will be suspended from attendance in that activity for the remainder of the season.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct is defined in the NMAA Handbook as non-compliance with sport specific rules and NMAA policies, including behaviors incompatible with “Compete with Class” and the interscholastic educational objective. Examples of egregious unsportsmanlike conduct by participants, coaches, or spectators include but are not limited to, fans entering the playing surface to engage in acts of violence or abuse, constant verbal attacks on officials, attacking other fans, coaches physically or verbally attacking officials, players fighting other players during post game handshakes, or student sections verbally chanting inappropriate or demeaning comments towards individuals, teams, or officials.
- In the event the second act of misconduct occurs when there are no contests left in the current season, the penalty may be applied to the next season in the same activity. The NMAA will notify the school that the team and/or individual/spectators has been placed on warning after the first offense.