Clovis AD opposes changing playoff structure

CNJ staff

ALBUQUERQUE — Clovis athletic director Dale Fullerton is against changes to the playoff system proposed during Wednesday’s meeting of the New Mexico Activities Association realignment committee.

One proposal by Albuquerque athletic director Scott Evans would create five districts in each of the three Tier II (Class 3A, 4A and 5A) classifications that would result in some with only three schools while others would contain up to five schools.

Districts with three schools would play a bi-district schedule, which 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.

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.

Fullerton prefers the top two teams from each district qualify for the playoffs.
“My question to them is: What is the criteria?” Fullerton said. “Because we’re playing down in classification, would that affect our rating?”

A second Evans proposal recommended eliminating class 5A except for football. 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.

Under the 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.

Fullerton was encouraged with the progress made during the meeting.

“You can tell it’s a done deal,” Fullerton said. “(The board members) were taking everything into consideration. It’s a good place to start.”

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.