NJSIAA Proposal to Expand Football Playoffs Voted Down by Membership
A proposal to expand the NJSIAA football playoffs in order to crown public Group champions was soundly voted down by the organization's membership on Monday morning.
The vote needed a two-thirds majority to pass because it would have resulted in an amendment to the NJSIAA's constitution that would have paved the way to start the season earlier and end it later in order to play to Group champions. Since the inception of the playoff system in 1974, New Jersey has only played to sectional champions. Currently, 24 teams (20 public, four non-public) are awarded state titles every season. Under the proposal, that number would have been reduced to nine (five public, four non-public).
The NJSIAA's membership voted 183-95 against the proposal during their annual meeting at the Pines Manor in Edison on Monday. Five athletic directors spoke out against the proposal and two spoke in favor of it before the vote. This marks the second time in three years that a proposal to expand the playoff format has been voted down by the NJSIAA's membership, and the primary sticking points were potentially starting the season on Labor Day weekend and upsetting coaches of winter sports by having the season end later.
The proposal that was voted down would have started the season by the first weekend in September and ended it a week later in December, while keeping a nine-game regular season and preserving Thanksgiving rivalry games.
New Jersey remains one of only two states that do not play down to overall Group champions in football.