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How the schedule would work under our football proposal
Written by Paul Mencher - Wednesday, August 20 2014  

Jersey Sports Now is offering a plan that would allow for true high school football state championships in New Jersey without any drastic changes to the current schedule dates. The following is a detailed look at the schedule our plan would be create if it were implemented in 2016, which would be the first year such a change could take place.

August 15 -- Start of official practice for most teams (same as under the current schedule)

high school sports image
The start and end dates of the football season don't have to change in order to have a state championship under our plan (Photo by Paul Swenson)

September 2/3 -- Optional early start to the season, if approved by the NJSIAA

September 9/10 -- First regular weekend of games (same as under current schedule)

November 4/5 -- Final weekend to accumulate power points to qualify for state playoffs

November 11/12 -- First round of sectional playoffs, first round of non-public state playoffs, also consolation games

November 18/19 -- Public sectional finals, played at the home field of the higher seed; also second round of non-public states

November 24 -- Thanksgiving Day games

November 26/27 -- State semifinals for teams that do not play on Thanksgiving Day; games would be played at neutral sites (such as Kean, TCNJ, Rowan, etc.)

November 28/29 -- State semifinals for teams that do play on Thanksgiving, again at neutral sites

December 2-4 -- Finals of the public and non-public state tournaments, to be held at larger venues (MetLife Stadium and Rutgers); 12 games in total. This is the same weekend the season would be slated to end under the current schedule.

For a public school team which did not play on Thanksgiving and reached the state finals, its 2016 schedule would work out as follows:

September 9/10 -- Opening day game

(team would not have a bye week during the regular season)

October 28/29 -- Eighth game, final game to accumulate power points

November 4/5 -- Ninth and final regular season game

November 11/12 -- Sectional semifinals

November 18/19 -- Sectional finals

November 26/27 -- State semifinals

December 2-4 -- State finals

For a school which reached the public state finals but also plays on Thanksgiving, the schedule would be as follows:

September 9/10 -- Opening day game

(team would have one bye week during the regular season)

November 4/5 -- Eighth regular season game, final game to accumulate power points

November 11/12 -- Sectional semifinals

November 18/19 -- Sectional finals

November 24 -- Thanksgiving Day game

November 28/29 -- State semifinals

December 2-4 -- State finals

These schedules could be altered if the NJSIAA approved an optional early start to the season in 2016 and a team chose to play on Labor Day weekend.

For New Jersey's non-public high schools, our plan would include an optional 10th regular-season game. A non-public team that chose to play the extra game would begin its 2016 football season on September 9/10 and play every week through November 4/5. If it advanced through the states, it would play the next two weekends in the playoffs, then play a Thanksgiving Day game on the 24th, before playing a state final in early December.

The option of an early start would allow non-public teams to begin a week earlier, and either build in a bye week during the regular season, or play 10 straight games and not play on Thanksgiving week. Again, that 10th regular-season game would be completely optional, and teams would not be negatively impacted by choosing only to play the standard nine games.

Click here to read the full story about our proposal to create true New Jersey football state championships.

Click here to to see how the sections would look if there were eight football groups.

Click here to read our first article about the football state playoff situation.


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