Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Changes in Seeding a Glimpse at Future?

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Changes in Seeding a Glimpse at Future?

Article excerpt

WAYNE - A change in the water may signal a huge shift in the way the NJSIAA seeds state tournaments.

For the first time, there was a change in the alignment for the boys and girls team state swimming tournaments. The top four schools, based on power points, were placed into sections depending on their "Northing" number (think Parkway exit) instead of where they traditionally reside.

That's how Westfield (usually North 2) ended up swimming in the North 1-A final Thursday against Ridgewood at Passaic Tech, and that's how the boys and girls teams from Summit High School ended up in different sections.

Westfield had the most power points in the A division and because it was the northernmost school of the four, was placed in North 1.

Before you think, "it's only swimming," the NJSIAA increasingly is shifting to a power-point system in all sports to award seeds in state tournaments. This was a one-year pilot program for swimming, but is something that could expand to other sports.

"If your goal is to get the best of the best at the end, then you divide the tournament this way," said Kim DeGraw-Cole, NJSIAA assistant director. "That has not always been the driving force in the way our tournaments are structured. We just stepped over the line in swimming a little bit to try something."

This change was proposed by the swimming committee and put through the NJSIAA legislative process. Among the eight people on the swimming committee -- four coaches, one member of the executive committee, two tournament directors and the rules interpreter -- none have North Jersey ties. So don't be surprised if this sticks.

But it's also contrary to another change. Two years ago, the NJSIAA tweaked its girls volleyball tournament, separating each group into a North and South. The North, specifically Bergen County, has dominated volleyball for the past decade.

The main reason given for the change was for travel purposes, but it was also clear that one goal was to give teams in the other parts of the state a chance to win a championship. …

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