NMAA votes to add new sport: Powerlifting - Albuquerque Journal

NMAA votes to add new sport: Powerlifting

For the first time in 13 years, the New Mexico Activities Association has voted to add a high school sport.

With no dissensions, the NMAA’s board of directors on Wednesday afternoon voted to make powerlifting an official sport, starting with the 2023-24 school year.

Powerlifting was a creation borne out of the pandemic, and it has been an activity rather than a sport the last two school years.

It will remain an activity in 2022-23.

This year’s state championships were held recently at Rio Rancho High. The first official season of powerlifting as a sport will run January through April in 2024.

The last time the NMAA board voted to approve a new sport was December 2009, when spirit (cheerleading/dance) was upgraded from activity status.

The first state competition in spirit — as a sport — was in the spring of 2011.

The most recent state powerlifting event saw medals handed out in 12 boys and 12 girls weight divisions.

Among the boys who earned first-place medals were Cleveland High running back Josh Perry and soon-to-be Boise State Bronco Roger Carreon of Jal.

Rio Rancho and Cleveland went 1-2 in the boys standings. Lovington and Cleveland were the top two girls teams. Points were distributed to teams based on individual finishes. A first-place athlete earned seven points for his or her team, second place was worth five points, with third- (three), fourth- (two) and fifth-place (one) finishes also garnering points for the team.

Overall, there were 22 boys teams and 19 girls teams that competed at state, according to the NMAA.

Wednesday’s board meeting was the last of the 2021-22 school year, and the board listened to a busy and diverse agenda.

Among the other action (voting) items the board addressed:

  •  The number of 8-Man football qualifiers will be increased from six to eight starting next season;
  •  All-Star events will continue to be contested during the academic year, except for baseball and softball, which are immediately following the end of the year.

Buster Mabrey, the executive director of the New Mexico High School Coaches Association, said athlete participation was put at a healthy 95% during this most recently completed school year;

  •  There will be a key revision in the NMAA’s tie-breaking criteria: Strength of schedule will be used to break a tie when one exists AFTER applying the NMAA’s six criteria points.

Head-to-head remains the first tie-breaking measure, but if two schools didn’t meet, the strength of schedule will now be next — instead of the overall MaxPreps.com ranking.

Up for discussion

There were several interesting items that were discussed Wednesday that could eventually become action items.

One of those items revolved around state soccer. The NMAA, executive director Sally Marquez told the board, is surveying schools on how to proceed with regard to the dates and site for the six championship games.

The University of New Mexico complex — where title games were played in Classes 5A, 4A and 1A-3A last November — won’t be available in the first week of November.

That is usually championship week for the high schools, but the UNM women are slated to host the Mountain West Conference tournament that week, Nov. 1-5.

The choice for the NMAA member schools becomes this: contest state finals on Nov. 4 or Nov. 5, but play them at a venue with artificial turf — Cleveland High was mentioned as a site, and there will be a new turf at Cleveland this year — or perhaps push the entire prep soccer calendar back a week, when UNM’s pristine grass field would be available in the second full week of November.

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