NMAA Girls Prep Softball La Cueva Coach Suspended


The NMAA Class 5A Girls Fastpitch Softball Tournament had a surprise twist this weekend as the La Cueva High School coach faced a 1 game suspension as a disciplinary penalty for breaking NMAA rules.

La Cueva Coach Ron Romero, was suspended for one game by the NMAA after an umpire on Thursday observed him communicating to his catcher with an electronic device to call pitches — something that is legal under NFHS rules for baseball, but not softball.

It was a mistake — confusion on the rule,” later saying more than once, “There was no ill intent whatsoever.”

The NMAA announced in its report that an umpire saw an AirPod in the La Cueva catcher’s ear in Thursday’s win over No. 7 Mayfield and discovered Romero was calling pitches into her from the dugout via an iPhone.

Romero was ejected under NFHS rules. Under New Mexico Activities Association rules, according Zac Stevenson, the NMAA’s Commissioner of Officials, he also had to “sit out” the next game  and will have to go through a rules seminar.

Romero has claimed that Friday’s game against Mayfield was the first game they tried electronic communication.

His coaching staff also noted had they been trying to get away with something they knew was illegal, they would have at least tried to cover up the AirPod so the umpire couldn’t see it.

It is rare for NMAA to sanction a coach but they wanted to send a message to ensure fairness within the state tournament and that they don’t take rules infractions lightly. 

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