Future preparatory football playoffs could be changed in two specific ways

The prep football season is over, but it remained a topic of conversation Thursday at the New Mexico Activities Association’s latest board meeting.

There was a two-pronged discussion Thursday – one focused on the quality of the facilities that host playoff games, and another (and lesser) one on whether higher seeds should eventually be allowed to start playing. organize post-season games in every round and not just until the quarter-finals.

That second element didn’t get much traction on Thursday.

“It’s twofold,” said NMAA associate director Dusty Young, the organization’s point man for football. “From the side of the community, from the side of the spectators, the question of superior seeds is at the forefront. On the school side, it’s more a matter of facilities.

Young said the majority of schools don’t want to deviate from the current format in which past history dictates who hosts semifinals and championship games. He added that more and more coaches have spoken out over the past two years at some venues “not meeting the caliber of ease of a league game”.

Sally Marquez

NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said there are a few examples — she declined to specify locations — of schools holding state playoff games in venues that were simply not up to standard. . She cited heating issues, a lack of ADA compliance, and portable toilets that aren’t easily accessible as examples of problems.

“Something needs to be done with some of the facilities,” she said.

Marquez said one option in the future is to move a playoff game to a more suitable ground, as close to the host school as possible – if it is determined that the host team’s facilities are substandard. .

Second, Marquez admitted his office has heard negative feedback from communities about the NMAA playoff format, especially this year. On the final day of the season, the highest seed traveled to all four league games (Classes 3A-6A), although in one of those four it was Cleveland High at Rio Rancho traveling to Albuquerque. Jal, the No. 1 seed in 2A, also had to travel for his league match.

“How to explain to parents (of players) why their team travels?” Marquez said. “The complaints, they come back to us. Which is OK, but we don’t know how to fight it.

Is change imminent? Probably not. But there could be a move to take a real home game away from someone if a venue doesn’t have the proper amenities.

“It’s been talked about the most (in my time at the NMAA),” Marquez said.

As for ANLAM’s “past history” model, it has long generated a lively coming and going. For example, when No. 1 Artesia met No. 5 Deming in the Class 5A semi-finals two weeks ago, the match was Deming’s. Why? Because the last time the schools met in the semi-finals or later was at Artesia – in the mid-1970s.

PARTICIPATION IN FOOTBALL: About 4,500 tickets were sold for last Saturday’s Cleveland-La Cueva Class 6A title game at Wilson Stadium, Young said Thursday.

The total was around 3,700 for Artesia-Piedra Vista at Farmington’s Hutchison Stadium for the 5A Final, around 2,000 tickets for the Silver-at-Bloomfield 4A Championship game and 1,800 for the Ruidoso-St. Michael’s 3A final at Santa Fe High’s Ivan Head Stadium. But there were about 14,000 fewer tickets sold for the state football playoffs this year than last, mostly due to declines in major divisions.

TOO: Among the actions the NMAA Board of Directors voted to approve Thursday was a change to the state’s baseball format. Instead of the highest seed being the home team only in the quarterfinals, the highest seed now also gets the last at-bat in the semifinals and league game.

A coin toss used to decide the last team in the semi-finals and finals.

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