EDISON, NJ – In a groundbreaking move, New Jersey high school athletic directors and principals voted to implement new policy changes across high school athletics at the state’s annual membership meeting on Monday at the Pines Manor in Edison.

According to the NJSIAA, of the five proposals facing a public vote, member schools voted to pass four new mandates involving fall and winter start dates, football and wrestling, while failing to pass a new student transfer policy.

During the vote, NJSIAA membership voted to pass two new policies designed to separate public and non-public schools in two sports.

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Beginning in the 2016-2017 seasons, public and non-public football schools will split into their own respective conferences, with a state-wide, non-public conference being created.

That vote passed 215-128 with two abstentions.

Additionally, the NJSIAA will create non-public wrestling district and regional tournaments by a vote of 216-121 with eight abstentions.

Membership schools also voted against amending the state’s transfer policy 244-99 with one abstention.

The change seeks to curtail what some officials across the state view as a transfer epidemic.

The transfer proposal, brought in front of NJSIAA membership by the Public-Nonpublic Committee, would have mandated all varsity athletes transferring to a new school to sit out for 30 days and receive a post-season ban. The only exception would be for a “valid change in residence” from one “public school to another.”

According to the committee, had the proposal passed, it would have prevented a large number of students transferring from public to private schools.

Additionally, two minor changes related to season opening dates were also passed. Beginning in 2016, football practices will begin on Aug. 10, with all other sports beginning on Aug. 15.

These dates move up to Aug. 9 and Aug. 14 in 2017.

A vote also passed allowing winter sports to use “pre-Thanksgiving” tryouts.

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