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June 12, 2021 — How a Championship Saturday could be a preview of the fall

Today, a number of states including Connecticut, Michigan, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey crown girls’ lacrosse champions. The teams playing these championship games have come through the usual brackets as designed by the state governing bodies of their respective sports.

But in New Jersey, the girls’ lacrosse bracket has had a pair of different formats since going away from a single state champion in the early 2000s. This season, as has been the case in many seasons past, each of the group classifications has two sectional brackets; one for the northern half of the state, one for the south.

In field hockey, however, there have been four sectional brackets in each classification: North I, North II, Central, and South.

But a couple of days ago, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association voted to restructure field hockey’s state tournament, which may see each of the state’s classifications go to just two sectional brackets in each: one for the north, one for the south.

Now, we don’t know precisely what the field hockey committee has in mind, but I would envision five classifications, including a single Non-Public tournament (lacrosse has a Non-Public A and a Non-Public B).

Then again, perhaps the realignment may be more geographical in nature; we’ve seen situations where a school listed as a Central Jersey team in soccer, football, and basketball might wind up be in North II for field hockey.

I’ll be interested to see the results of the field hockey realignment. Meanwhile, enjoy the lacrosse finals today.

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