Tag: pods

Shore Conference drops championship pod plan, will handout matchups without “tournament” play

The Shore Conference announced with much fanfare in the off season that its last two weeks of regular season play would include pod championships, inspired by what leagues did during the 2020 COVID season when the NJSIAA decided not to have state playoffs. They would group the top four teams in a bracket, followed by the next four, and the next four, and award trophies to each champion.

But on the week those pods would have been announced, a surprise announcement: that plan is dead in the water.

As first reported by NJ Advance Media, the surprise announcement came today, along with a full, pre-determined schedule of games for Weeks 8 and 9.

Marlboro Athletic Director Dave Ryden told NJ Advance’s Joe Zedalis that the pods turned out to be a logisitcal nightmare, including issues like finding buses on short notice, rematches from earlier regular season games, and getting intent cards to the NJSIAA with unnamed opponents.

The NJIC up in North Jersey has run a similar system for years now, seemingly without such major issues, and will continue to do so this year.

The full schedule of Week 8 and 9 games can be found here.

The changes could affect Big Central conference teams vying for playoff berths, home playoff games, or even one of the top seeds in the sectionals. A strong team might have faced two similarly strong opponents, and lost both. Now, opponents will be predetermined both weeks.

Somerset and rest of Skyland Conference will unite for a unique postseason

Scroll down to head South Hunterdon Athletic Director Jason Miller – head of the Skyland Conference boys’ seeding committee – talk about this year’s Skyland Conference postseason format.

For many years, the Skyland Conference has played its basketball season, then broken up into two camps: Somerset County, and all the rest.

Somerset County holds its basketball tournament, with each round being played on a Saturday while the regular season continues during the week. The Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament does the same.

Compared to the Greater Middlesex Conference, they’re a pair of awkward, fumbling events, with no real continuity. Lose in the quarterfinals, and you still have a couple weeks of the regular season to play out. Lose in the GMCs and you have to stew for a week until the state tournament, maybe picking up a game with a team that got knocked out of another league event.

This year, however – just like everything else – will be different.

All 47 teams in the Skyland Conference – 24 on the girls’ side, 23 on the boys – will be in one tournament, with the girls and boys each being broken into three pods, to play off to champions.

The girls will feature three-eight team pods, with the top eight teams in the league in one, the middle three teams in the second, and the bottom three teams in the third. The boys – since all-girls Mount St. Mary doesn’t have a team – will have seven teams in its top pod, and eight in the other two.

There’s no segregation between Somerset and all the rest; everyone’s together.

Last season, Rutgers Prep’s boys and girls swept the Somerset County Tournament. In the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament, Hunterdon Central won the boys side, while Sparta won the girls’ tournament.

Click below to listen to South Hunterdon Athletic Director Jason Miller talk about the 2021 Skyland Conference postseason:

Greater Middlesex Conference seeding co-chair DelAversano explains what the league’s “post-season pods” will look like

Scroll down to hear Spotswood Athletic Director and GMC seeding committee co-chair Mike DelAversano discuss this year’s unique postseason in the Greater Middlesex Conference.

The 2021 high school basketball season has been anything but typical, so it follows that the postseason will be just as unusual.

The GMC Tournament – one of the most exciting tournaments in the state with games that come fast and furious in a span of less than two weeks – won’t be held in a traditional fashion this year, due to the COVID-shortened season. Instead, teams will be paired into four-team pods.

But that doesn’t mean seeding won’t take place. In fact, similar rules will apply in terms of determining the top overall team, then working all the way down to the last team. The top four will go in the first pod, with the next four to go in the second pod, and so on.

Each pod will have the winners face each other in the second game, and the losing teams square off in their own matchup.

The seeding committee will be headed by South River Athletic Director Carl Buffalino – a past GMC President – and Spotswood Athletic Director Mike DelAversano.

Seeding the teams will be done just like in prior years, with the top four teams in each of the Red, White, Blue and Gold Divisions on the board. When the top team is picked from one of those divisions, the next best team goes on the board, with four teams on the board at all times. All division champions must be among the top 8 seeds. Teams must be pulled from their division in the order of their standings, unless there are ties, in which case other criteria can be used.

READ MORE: Edison boys’ on two-week COVID shutdown, but had planned to opt-out of GMC “pods” anyway

Teams must declare their intent to participate by the end of the day Wednesday. So far, two boys’ teams have opted out: Edison and JP Stevens. Edison Athletic Director Dave Sandaal says the two did not meet in the regular season and wanted to meet in the GMC pods, but league officials couldn’t guarantee a matchup. So they opted out, and will meet that week, on March 3rd.

Seeding will take place and the pairings will be announced on Monday, March 1, with “first-round” boys’ and girls’ games on Wednesday, March 3rd. “Second round” or “finals/consolations” would be on Friday, March 5th, with Saturday built in for a backup day in case of inclement weather.

SCHEDULE UPDATE: Central Jersey Sports Radio announces tentative postseason broadcast schedule – click here to see the full slate.

By NJSIAA rules, the last day of play for basketball is March 6. When asked via email by Central Jersey Sports Radio whether an extension to the season is under consideration, NJSIAA Assistant Director for Basketball Tony Maselli said, “at this point, no extensions.”

Click below to listen to Spotswood Athletic Director and GMC seeding co-chair Mike DelAversano talk about this year’s unique postseason event: