ROBBINSVILLE – New Jersey public high school football teams could play for state titles in 2014.
State high schools will probably vote in December on a proposal that would eliminate a clause in the constitution of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association that prevents public schools from playing to a state championship in football. The NJSIAA governs New Jersey high school sports.
Public high schools currently play for sectional (South, Central, North I and North II) championships.
NJSIAA membership voted against a 2011 proposal to allow public high schools to play to a state championships.
But this year’s proposal seems to have more positive momentum.
“We’re one of few states that doesn’t play to a state championship,” NSJIAA assistant director Jack Dubois said Wednesday after the NJSIAA executive committee meeting. “I think it’s time we provide that opportunity to our member schools and out student athletes.”
DuBois said any proposal for extending the playoffs would preserve Thanksgiving rivalries. Team that reached the state title game would play 14 contests as opposed to 12 now.
In other football business Wednesday, teams will now qualify for the playoffs based on power points accumulated in seven of their first eight games. The game among the first eight with the least power point total will be dropped. Teams earn powers points based on their wins and their opponents’ victories and enrollment group.
Teams also will no longer need to be at least .500 at the playoff qualifying date to make the postseason. The top eight teams with most power points – regardless of record – in each section will make the playoffs.
DuBois said the measure is designed to encourage teams to schedule powerhouse opponents without fear of losing power points.