New Shore Conference football alignment, schedules could come next week
When the Shore Conference Executive Committee meets on Thursday, July 23, there is the possibility new divisions and a new schedule will be approved for the 2020 high school football season.
"We are working o several potential solutions based on the information released by the NJSIAA last Friday in their initial Fall Return to Play Guidelines," said Shore Conference President Will Sundermann. "We will present these potential solutions to the Shore Conference Executive Committee next Thursday for them to select and approve."
Last week, the NJSIAA COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task Force released its "Model 1 - Delayed Fall Season" guidelines that pushed back the start of the fall sports season to October. For football, that includes practices beginning no earlier than Sept. 14 and a regular-season start date of Friday, Oct. 2. The season will conclude on Nov. 8 and a two-week postseason will be conducted from No. 13 to No. 22. Thanksgiving football games may be played after Sunday, Nov. 22, at each school's discretion.
The NJSIAA is also strongly recommending to its leagues and conferences that they 'revise schedules to emphasize local competition and minimize the number of different schools that come in contact with each other. Smaller divisions of schools for competition purposes is encouraged in order to facilitate communications and scheduling'.
Every sport besides football is divisionally aligned based on geography. Football is aligned based on strength of program and school size, so changes need to be made to the divisions and the schedule to minimize travel and make the season more localized.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.