NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The bad behavior needs to stop. At least, that’s the message from the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA).
The association is proposing a new initiative that would punish players, coaches, and fans for behavior at games, that crosses the line.
“We’ve seen an uptick in bad behavior. I can’t even call it ‘un-sportsman-like behavior,’ we call it bad behavior in our contest,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez.
It’s something they’re trying to stop at sporting events.
At their Board of Directors meeting Wednesday morning, they discussed a “2 Strikes” initiative, which was inspired by similar initiatives recently passed in Oklahoma and Louisiana.
As the name implies, coaches, players, and even fans would be punished after two incidents of unruly behavior.
“If there’s two strikes against the fans, then we’ll let the kids play, and there will not be any fans in the stands, and if there’s two strikes against the kids, then that season will be done,” explained Velasquez.
The NMAA said the punishment will be specifically for “egregious behavior.” Those behaviors include fighting and yelling obscenities at officials. The NMAA stated they’ve had situations where parents followed officials to the parking lot after games.
The NMAA said the “2 Strike” rule would be in addition to the current “Compete with Class” Initiative, which states parents can be banned for un-sportsman-like behavior for 185 school days.
“I mean, if there’s harassing conduct going on at these games and these are, you know, school children, I think something needs to be done about it,” stated resident, Vinay Harpalani.
“I do think, as a society, we have gotten away from courtesy, and if you wanna teach your children anything, you’ve got to have some backbone to it. So, I do feel like we need to do all kinds of measures to get us back to more courtesy,” said resident, Susan Velasquez.
The NMAA said the initiative will be voted on in June. If it passes, it would be implemented during the 2023-2024 school year.