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First High School Sports Kickoff is Sept. 6

according to njsiaa.org.

The “Friday Night Lights” football season kicks off on Friday, Sept. 6. The regular season concludes Nov. 9 with the top eight teams in each group qualifying for the playoffs, which commence the following week. The quarterfinals are set for Nov. 15-16, followed by the semifinals on Nov. 22 and 23. Following the traditional Thanksgiving rivalry games Nov. 28-30, the championship games are scheduled for Dec. 6-7.

This may be the final season without an overall state champion. After the season, the full membership of the NJSIAA will vote on a proposal to expand the playoffs beyond the current sectional group final. 

Currently, champions are determined in five groups in four regional sections for the public schools. The proposal calls for the playoffs to be extended to a state title game in each group.

A proposal to change the by-laws was previously rejected in December 2011.

A state champion is already crowned among the non-public schools.

In each of the other sports, teams must possess a .500 record or better by their respective “cutoff dates” to qualify for the playoffs.

Girls’ tennis has the earliest cutoff date, Sept. 25, with playoffs beginning Oct. 2-4. The state team finals are set for Oct. 16, and the Tournament of Champions takes place Oct. 20-23. The singles and doubles cutoff date is Sept. 23, and the tournaments will run from Oct. 5-18.

The cutoff date for boys’ and girls’ soccer is Oct. 26, with the playoffs beginning Nov. 4 for the girls and Nov. 5 for the boys. Sectional finals are set for Nov. 14-15, and the state tournaments are scheduled for Nov. 19-24.

The cutoff date for field hockey is Oct. 23, with the public schools playoff set to begin Oct. 28 and the non-public playoffs commencing Nov. 2. Sectional finals are scheduled for Nov. 11-13, and state finals are all scheduled for Nov. 16. The Tournament of Champions is scheduled for Nov. 18-22.

The cross country sectional meets take place Nov. 9, followed by the state championships on Nov. 16 and the Meet of Champions on Nov. 23.

The cutoff date for gymnastics is Oct. 29, with the team finals taking place Nov. 14. Sectionals are set for Nov. 9, with the individual finals scheduled for Nov. 16.

The cutoff date for volleyball is Oct. 23, with playoffs beginning Nov. 4. The sectional finals are set for Nov. 14, and the state finals are set for Nov. 16. The Tournament of Champions takes place Nov. 23-24.

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