ROBBINSVILLE — The high school football power-point system is on the verge of being tweaked again to encourage teams to play tougher schedules.
Under the new system, teams would accumulate power points through the first eight games of the season just as they do now.
But the game that earns the team the fewest power points would be dropped.
The executive committee of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association approved the measure on first reading Wednesday morning. The change, if approved again at the executive committee’s April meeting, would take effect for the 2013 season.
“This will encourage schools to maybe go out and play a tougher team,” NJSIAA assistant director Jack DuBois said. “If you lose, that game can be eliminated.”
For example, this past fall, some Cape-Atlantic League American Conference teams could have dropped their loss to St. Joseph. Some CAL National Conference teams could have dropped their loss to St. Augustine Prep. Public school teams around the state have complained in the past about playing parochial powers that draw students from a wide range of areas. Public schools say the loss hurts their playoff chances. That would no longer be the case under the new format.
“I think this would be best for the league and football around the state,” Millville athletic director and executive committee member Dave LaGamba said. “It somewhat levels the playing field. I think it gives a school a reason to play (a tough schedule). There’s more of a carrot at the end. You’re rewarded.”
The playoff fields will stay at eight teams in each enrollment group, under the new proposal. But the eight teams — regardless of record — with the most power points will qualify. This will allow a team with a sub-.500 record to make the playoffs. Under the current system, teams had to have at least a 4-4 record to make the playoffs.
“I think this is a good thing for playoff football,” Ocean City principal and executive committee member Matthew Jamison said. “Nothing is going to be perfect, but this is a good system. I think this helps playoff football (chances) for certain CAL teams, and I think our membership will like it once it cycles through.”
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