State scholastic athletic association votes to eliminate Tournament of Champions
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has voted to eliminate the Tournament of Champions.
The event was a way for schools to determine one true champion in a given sport. Now sports like basketball and lacrosse will crown multiple champions – just like football.
The Tournament of Champions was what made New Jersey unique among other states. But the NJSIAA says that it dragged out the season and that getting rid of it will mean more schools can play more regular-season games.
The association has reportedly said most schools support this move because tournament generally only benefits the power programs.
There may be some truth to this notion, especially in high school basketball. The high school basketball tournament goes back 30 years and only 11 schools have won it.
Some coaches are OK with this decision, including Elizabeth basketball coach Phil Colicchio.
"I think now six schools go home at the end of the year happy. The TOC has taken some of the luster off winning the Group Championship," he says.
But Mountain Lakes lacrosse coach Tim Flynn says that there is value in playing the best teams and coming up short.
“It’s pretty disappointing honestly. I think for lacrosse, both girls and boys lacrosse, I think it was a very successful item. I also think it really helped grow the game,” Flynn says.
Flynn says that he is hoping that there is still some way to be able to have one, true champion.