Another attempt to delete that infamous one sentence in Article IX of the NJSIAA Constitution and enable the NJSIAA to extend its public school football playoffs to overall state group champions passed the first of three hurdles on Wednesday.
The association’s Advisory Committee approved the constitution change, which was put together by River Dell athletic director Denis Nelson on behalf of the North Jersey-based Big North Conference, by an 8-2 vote.
Article IX states “No state championship, however, shall be declared in football.”
Currently, the association’s public school football playoffs end with 20 public school sectional champions and four non-public state champions. The four non-public groups are state-wide groups.
It is the second time in three years, there has been an attempt to delete that one sentence.
Brick Township District Athletic Director Bill Bruno and former East Brunswick head coach Marcus Borden proposed a deletion in 2011. That proposal fell 23 votes short of the two-thirds majority it needed from those present at the association’s annual meeting in December, 2011.
This latest attempt will be voted on by the association’s Executive Committee in May.ven if the Executive Committe does not approve the change, it will still be voted on by the association’s membership at its annual meeting in December if it receives signatures from 20 school admnistrators.
Because it is a constitution issue, the change will need two-thirds approval of those who vote at the annual meeting.
If that sentence is deleted, then next winter, the Executive Committee can vote on a formal proposal on how to play out to five overall pubic school state group champions.
NJSIAA assisistant director Jack DuBois, who oversees football for the association, said he would like a format to play out to overall public school state group champions to be in effect for the 2014 season.
Nelson and the Big North Conference have outlined a what a season with extended playoffs could look like.
The regular season would start the first weekend in September.
Teams would play eight games before the playoffs with no bye weeks.
The playoffs would start in Week 9 and the state group championship games would take place the first weekend in December, the same week the sectional championship games currently take place.
The Thanksgiving Day weekend games, which for many schools are big rivarly games and the ninth regular season game, would remain and would take place in between the public school state group semifinal and state group championship games.
Public schools who advance to the state group championship games could play 14 games. That would include five playoff games and a Thanksgiving game.
Those schools who do not qualify for the playoffs could play 13 games. That would include two consolation games assigned by the NJSIAA, two games they can schedule on their own and a Thanksgiving Game.
The non-public playoffs would conclude in Week 11 with the four state championship games. Non-public schools could play two more games, after their playoffs conclude. That could include a Thanksgiving game.
Power point change
The Executive Committee approved a proposal to seed the football playoffs based on a school’s best seven power point games before the cutoff date for playoffs by a vote of 22-0. The change will take effect this fall.
Through 2012, seeding for the football playoffs was based on a team’s first eight games before the cutoff date.
Lacrosse start changed
A waiver to move the start of the boys and girls lacrosse season in 2014 to March 26 on a one-year trial basis was approved by the Executive Committee 23-1 with one abstentation.