Schools asked to vote on referenda items

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NMAA: Heat index bylaw change is on statewide ballot

By The Staff

Schools around the state have just the remainder of this week to make their thoughts known to the New Mexico Activities Association about several referenda items.
The NMAA, which governs most interscholastic high school and middle school athletic programs around the state, is asking schools for its opinions on eight separate issues.
Among the items that would have the most immediate impact to schools is one in which the NMAA would change its bylaws to add a heat illness prevention protocol.
Teams would not be allowed to practice if the heat index for an area is above 104.
Because fall 2012 sports start their practices in early August, that could be an issue and other states have taken steps to ensure players aren’t subjected to conditions where they may be more easily prone to heat stroke.
Practices, according to the proposed bylaw change, could resume if the heat index fell to 104 or below, although the new wording advises coaches to “consider modification to remove protective equipment and to shorten practice” if the heat index is in the 100-104 range.
The NMAA’s website will add a feature for localities to track their current heat index by zip code.
Among other items the NMAA is requesting schools to consider are an extension of the wood bat regulation in baseball — which was overwhelmingly supported by baseball coaches in New Mexico when it was implemented last year — for an additional four years, the addition of a North/South All-Star tennis event to be played later this summer, and using the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings instead of the New Mexico High School Coaches Association rankings for seeding and selection consideration in postseason tournaments.