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Class alignment on NMAA agenda

The state’s classification and alignment committee will meet today at the New Mexico Activities Association, and by the time the sun goes down, some important questions may be answered as it pertains to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

There are three major topics on the agenda today for the meeting, which is not open to the public.

Chief among them is establishing what the minimum enrollment figure should be for each of the five classes when the state switches from six classes to five starting in August 2018.

Already determined by the NMAA’s board of directors is that a school’s enrollment figure will be a three-year average, with 80-day counts from 2015-16 and 2016-17, and the 40-day count from the 2017-18 school year.

Secondly, and perhaps most interestingly, will be this item: possibly ditching the traditional district format that New Mexico has known for so many decades and going with a conference model, or leaving the district model in place.

The NMAA plans to have an outline of both proposals at the next board meeting, which has been moved up from June 8 to June 1.

“The board asked us to bring back examples of five classes with districts, and five classes with conferences,” NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said.

How to align football will be the third topic today. It is likely to drop from seven classes to six starting in 2018 (Classes 5A through 2A, plus 6-Man and 8-Man).

Although, the enrollment line to separate the classes — particularly for the state’s largest class — might move for safety concerns, Marquez said.

Hypothetically, the cutoff enrollment number for the largest class in football might be higher than it is in other sports.

The classification and alignment committee is comprised of about 15 members, athletic directors throughout the state in all classes. Marquez and associate director Dusty Young also serve on this committee.