November 12, 2011

Parents Sue Over Bad Call in High School Game

By - Kris Fletcher

Atrisco Heritage High parents filed an injunction earlier this week on behalf of the school's football team after it was kept out of the New Mexico Class 4-A state playoffs on a point differential tie breaker technicality.

The Jaguars were one point away from overcoming its disadvantage in that tie breaking category, and felt they could have completed the takeover had they not been cheated out of a game-ending field goal attempt in their regular season finale against Albuquerque St. Pius.

Photo by: Michael Yanow
With Atrisco leading 24-15, but needing to win by 10 or more points, a St. Pius defender was called for a tripping penalty with just three seconds remaining on the clock. The penalty put the Jags in field-goal range, where a successful 41-yarder would have landed the team a playoff berth.

However, they never got to attempt the kick because officials started the clock on the final play before the ball was snapped. Of course, that shouldn't have happened since the penalty on the previous play should have ensured the clock wouldn't begin until the snap.

Afterwards, Robert Zayas, the New Mexico Activities Association associate director, told KOAT-TV that as soon as the game officials walked off the field, the score was considered final and irreversible. "The playoffs are set, there are no changes unfortunately for Atrisco Heritage," Zayas said. "They will not be in the playoffs."

Ironically enough, the team's kicker had already made a 50-yarder earlier in the year, so a season-saving kick from 41 yards was no doubt in his range.

On Thursday, Judge Shannon Bacon made her decision on the case.

"The plaintiff's are asking the court to step into the shoes of the referee of the game, which is really asking the court to become a super referee or a super official over a sporting event, and that isn't the role of the court," said Bacon.

The judge went on to tell the players who were on hand that overturning the call would set a bad precedent, and open the door for any team to take a loss to court.

She's absolutely right.

Quite frankly, the parents that filed the injunction should be ashamed of themselves. Real good example to set for your children. When the going gets tough, the tough sue.

Atrisco Heritage isn't the first team to get the shaft because of some referee's poor decision, and they certainly won't be the last.

It's called adversity kiddos. Write that down.


  1. People will sue over ANYTHING nowadays. It's sad, but it doesn't surprise me.

  2. Would have been awesome had the judge ordered them to redo the final 3 seconds and the kid missed the kick. Lol

  3. LOL @ Mike's comment.

  4. Referees should be held accountable. They play GOD and that affects a lot of kids.