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NJ - New Rules for 2018 Season


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Summary of article from BR:

  • New “Unified” plan was approved...revamps playoff system for Publics. Non-Public playoffs remain the same.
  • There will be a new power rating formula that seeds teams for the playoffs.
  • The plan gives teams the option of starting their season Labor Day weekend in 2018 (first games can be August 31) and nine weeks to play at least eight regular season games. 
  • instead of having four sections at the start of the season, there will be two: North and South.
  • The top 16 teams in the North and the South areas based on the power ratings will qualify for the playoffs. Then the 16 teams in each section will be divided again based on their exact location to populate a North 1 and North 2 section. The 16 teams from the South will be split into eight-team Central and South sections. Each of those four sections will play down to a sectional champion, and the winners of the North 1 and North 2 sections will meet in a “Bowl Game” at MetLife Stadium, while the winner of the South and Central section will also meet.
  • Public schools to co-op in any sport with another public school, removing the restriction on larger schools from being able to share teams. Also, schools are no longer obligated to remain in the co-op with the same school in multiple sports. There will be NJSIAA oversight of all the co-op programs after two years with the option to renew for two more years.
  • The Executive Committee also endorsed a plan to amend the “70 percent rule” to “60 percent” meaning that teams only have to play 60 percent of its games against in-state competition to be eligible for the State Tournament. This would greatly benefit some non-public schools who have trouble finding willing New Jersey opponents, although this may not be an issue so much anymore with publics once again stepping up and playing non-publics to take advantage of the power point boost.


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