ROBBINSVILLE – The high school football season would start a week earlier and finish a week later beginning in 2014, under proposal detailed by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The proposal would allow public school teams to play for a state championship. Public school teams currently only play for sectional titles.
The proposal calls for the season to start the first weekend in September. In some years, such as 2015, that means the season would start before Labor Day. The season would end the second weekend in December with 10 public school teams playing for state titles in five enrollment groups.
NJSIAA schools will vote the first Monday in December on whether to allow public schools to play for state titles in football. The NJSIAA constitution currently prevents state championships for public schools. The football playoffs began in 1974 and no one now connected with the NJSIAA can remember exactly why the ban was put in the constitution. New Jersey non-public schools have played for a state title since 1993.
NJSIAA officials want schools to have as much information as possible before the December vote.
“We want to have an open dialogue,” NJSIAA president Thomas Holt said during the organization’s executive committee meeting Wednesday morning.
Here are the details of the plan:
*Teams would play a nine-game regular season that includes Thanksgiving games.
*The playoffs would begin week 10 of the season.
*Teams that do not make the playoffs would play a consolation game on week 10 or week 11. Teams will be allowed to play only one consolation game.
*The format for state Non-Public playoffs would remain unchanged. The non-public finals would be played the weekend before Thanksgiving. Non-public state champions would a maximum of 12 games. Public school state champions would play a maximum of 14 games.