NJSIAA playoff plans call for no trophies, seeding by committees

Somerville players celebrate their 2017 Central Jersey Group 3 championship – the school’s first since 1994 – at midfield at Rutgers’ High Point Solutions Stadium.

by Mike Pavlichko

The NJSIAA Wednesday announced long-awaited post-season plans that call for a two-week playoff, as expected, with no awards or trophies for winners, and seeding done by committees.

In a statement released by the NJSIAA, the 2020 postseason will be known as “Football Post-Season Groupings.” Participation is open to any school wishing to take part, while leagues across the state will “take the lead in grouping their member schools into pools that will participate in a two-game series.”

Those groupings would be determined using three key factors: enrollment, geography and competitive balance.

The NJSIAA would then host a seeding committee with reps from all five conferences, which will meet right after the final weekend of games is complete on Saturday, November 7. That seeding meeting would be closed to the public.

Groupings would be announced on Sunday, November 8, with the NJSIAA scheduling and assigning all games for Week 7 and 8.

No post-season trophies or awards will be given out, according to the release.

For the full NJSIAA release, click here.

It’s yet another postseason change – alebit likely temporary – for high school football’s postseason in New Jersey.

Two years ago, the NJSIAA added the Born Power Index to the traditional Power Points criteria to qualify and seed the playoffs. But the BPI was scrapped after it was determined that teams were being rewarded for winning games by large margins.

Last year, the NJSIAA adopted the OSI – Opponent Strength Index – which was a kind of Born Power Index in reverse. Seeding was based on the strength of opposing teams rather than its own rating, which meant less of a benefit for teams winning by wide margins.

In this six-week 2020 regular season, the United Power Ranking – or UPR – will not be calculated and maintained during the 2020 season.

However, Gridiron New Jersey – the official tabulator of the playoff formula – will continue to update each team’s Strength Index numbers. Those numbers are what make a team’s Opponent Strength Index, and they must be maintained in order to be accurate for the start of the 2021 season.

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