NMAA’s two-strike rule raises questions about safety and consistency
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After a recent threat, Española Valley and Pojoaque High made the decision to move up last Friday’s game, and not allow any fans.
“Everybody was a nervous wreck,” said the mother of one of the Pojoaque players. “Like this isn’t something that any parent should have to deal with or worry about.”
She said she had fear and nerves heading into every game this season, partially thanks to the NMAA’s new two-strike rule, and the way she says officials have handled it.
“I don’t care what sport it is, the parents should be able to sit in the stands, and have joy watching their child – and not fear that the referees if something does happen, that they’re not going to handle it the right way,” she said.
She said she has watched illegal helmet-to-helmet hits with no consequences one week, and other moves within the rules that spark an expulsion the next.
“I have had to be my child’s advocate, and getting bullied by the state of New Mexico with the NMAA on how they handle this and the kid’s safety,” she said. “That’s an issue for me.”
When the rule was first introduced in June, parents brought up that they were mostly concerned about fans – but fans have so far kept it under control.
The NMAA has hit three teams with strikes so far. Belen and Valley high schools got strikes after a confrontation in Week 4.
The Eunice football team got a strike last week after a photo surfaced, showing players wearing T-shirts that said “F*** Jal.” Jal is their rival who they played the night they took the picture. It also shows the players holding up their middle fingers.
KOB 4 reached out to the NMAA Sunday for an interview about how the rule could come into play, especially in the next few weeks during playoffs. A representative told us no one was available because of football and soccer seeding.