NMAA may drop five-class format

CNJ Staff

ALBUQUERQUE — Realignment proposals ranged creating unbalanced districts to eliminating Class 5A expect for football to dropping the five-class format altogether during Wednesday’s meeting of the New Mexico Activities Association realignment committee, according to an NMAA press release.
Scott Evans, Albuquerque Public Schools athletic director and alignment committee member, proposed two of the three alignment recommendations.
The committee took no action.
Evans’ first proposal proposed the following:
n Create five districts in each of the three Tier II (Class 3A, 4A and 5A) classifications.
n Five districts would result in some with only three schools while others would contain up to five schools.
n Districts with three schools would play a bi-district schedule. The bi-district schedule would consist of schools from a higher or lower classification. Only those games played against schools in their same classification would count for qualification for the state tournament.
n Because only eight teams qualify for the playoffs, the champion from each district would qualify for the state tournament. The remaining three teams would be based on a wild card placing.
n Enrollment divisions for classification.
His second proposal recommended eliminating class 5A except for the sport of football. The proposal divided schools into four districts for each classification based on enrollment. The top two teams from each district would advance to the playoffs. The rationale behind Evans’ second proposal was to reduce travel expenses for schools because district football games are only played once a week compared to other sports that play several games a week.
According to Evans’ second proposal, other sports would be divided by placing the top 30 schools with enrollment over 401 students into Class 4A. The bottom 30 schools, based upon enrollment, would be Class 3A.
Robert Abney, athletic director at Los Alamos High School and president of the Athletic Directors Association, proposed the elimination of the five-class format.
His proposal was based on a Michigan’s alignment system which awards points for items such as margin of victory, victories over schools that made the playoff pool, victories over schools with winning records, shutouts, etc.
The eight schools with the most points in each classification would advance to the playoffs. Abney’s proposal also allowed for districts to develop their own set of rules for post-season play.
The committee will meet again April 7.