Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Football System Stuck in Repetitive Cycle

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Football System Stuck in Repetitive Cycle

Article excerpt

In 2011, the vote was yes, but not enough.

In 2013, the vote was against.

In 2015, the only vote that mattered was by the Commissioner of Education.

Every two years the full membership of the NJSIAA is invited to cast votes on a myriad of changes to the rulebook. And, every two years, changing the current football system for public schools is on the ballot.

Guess what? It's 2017. Monday, December 4 at NJSIAA Headquarters in Robbinsville, plan to get there early (because there won't be a lot of parking) as changes to the current football structure are on the agenda to be voted on by the full membership.

This current football change goes by the name the "United" plan. It's a merge of two separate plans proposed earlier in the year, one by the administration of the North Jersey Super Football Conference, another made up of the other football leagues in the state.

What do they want to do?

For starters, add a regular season game, giving teams the option to play 10 regular season games. This would mean that every team could start on Labor Day weekend (alert, alert, this means the Shore teams will be against it) although it is optional.

They also want to alter the way the playoffs are seeded. No, not power points, that's another gorilla that needs to be tackled, but not now.

The United plan would cut the state in half and the top 16 power point earners in the North would create North 1 and North 2 sections (teams wouldn't be locked in at the start). The southern top 16 would create a Central and South. We would no longer have a situation where a team with a losing record in North 2 got in over a team with a winning record in North 1.

The playoffs would begin a week earlier than they do now, and the sectional finals would be the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Each of the five groups would have four sectional champions. Then there would be so-called "bowl games" between those teams. That would be the end of the season. It would be better, but still be....unsatisfying.

For the non-public schools, there isn't much change, except basically every non-public team would qualify for the playoffs, and their state finals would remain the week after Thanksgiving.

So, Yes or No? …

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