The membership of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the organization that governs high school athletics, voted overwhelmingly on Monday to split non-public and public school football programs into separate conferences.

NJSIAA consists of 433 accredited public and non-public high schools. Its decisions can have a dramatic impact on interscholastic sports in the 288 public school districts that operate secondary schools.

“The football proposal, which passed 215-128 with two abstentions, would remove all non-public schools from  their current conference for football only and force them to create a statewide conference of their own, with full schedules,” reported

The change is planned for the fall of 2016. However, NJSIAA bylaws amendments require the approval of the state Commissioner of Education before going into effect.

At issue has been the uneven competition between public high school programs and those of a half dozen northern New Jersey non-public schools that operate so-called “powerhouse” football programs and recruit players from throughout New Jersey and from other states.

According to news accounts, the NJSIAA membership also voted overwhelmingly to place all non-public school wrestlers into four separate districts and one statewide region and to realign public school wrestling programs into 28 districts and seven regions.

School Board Notes will provide updates on the status of these NJSIAA by-laws provisions.

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Posted Dec. 10