NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – With the fall season approaching, high school sports are getting underway. This means the New Mexico Activities Association’s (NMAA) new crackdown on bad behavior for players, fans, and coaches is now in effect.

The NMAA implemented a new “two strikes” rule in the off-season. The rule bans anyone – including spectators – from engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct two or more times at the same school within the same season.

The banned conduct includes violence, constant verbal assaults on officials, inappropriate chants, or demeaning comments. If the bad behavior occurs at the end of the season, the penalty may be applied to the following year.

“This is an extension of the classroom. We are education-based athletics, and although we have to think about it as “the football field,” “the basketball court,” that is our classroom. Those are the kids we need to teach lifelong skills for,” says the NMAA’s executive director, Sally Marquez. The NMAA says it will notify schools when a first offense has occurred.