Copyright 2014 Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)
While there were no extraordinary developments from Wednesday's New Mexico Activities Association board of directors meeting, there was one very interesting, almost buried, discussion point in those three hours:
The possibility of centralizing state football championship games.
One of them, at least.
Any such policy shift would not occur before 2015, at the very earliest. However, the state's governing body for high school athletics is taking the initial steps toward possibly taking one of the small-school classifications - 2A or lower - and staging a title game somewhere in the metro area.
"We don't even have a timeline for it," associate director Dusty Young said.
Such a contest could be played at any of the three facilities within the Albuquerque Public Schools system - Milne, Wilson or the new Community Stadium - or perhaps Rio Rancho or Cleveland High, both of which have tailor-made stadium setups.
The NMAA sent out an advisory referendum earlier this year, asking member schools their opinion on the notion of centralizing championship games.
Among the schools that responded, the vote was 43-37 against centralizing. Athletic directors or superintendents cast the votes.
Among coaches who were asked the same question, the vote was 33-26 in favor of having a centralized site for the state finals.
Coaches were also asked to vote on the higher seed vs. past history debate that tends to spring up every year when No. 1 seeds - like Valley in the 5A semifinals or Goddard in the 4A title game - must travel.
The vote was 30-29 in favor of the higher seed always hosting - rather than going by where the teams met in their most previous postseason game, no matter when that was, or by flipping a coin.
In other meeting news:
As expected, the NMAA has begun the process of revamping football practice rules as they pertain to the amount of contact athletes can have. New Mexico hopes to follow Texas' lead and limit in-pads contact to 90 minutes a week once the season has begun.
Coaches asked the NMAA to look into changing the football mercy rule. They don't want games ended in the second half once there is a 50-point margin. Coaches also were hoping to create a running clock with a 35-point lead at the end of the first quarter, rather than wait until the start of the third quarter.
The board Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected the coaches' requests.