New Jersey Eliminates Consolation Finals From Meet of Champions

Starting Blocks

New Jersey Eliminates Consolation Finals From Meet of Champions

At various levels around the world, consolation finals are the norm, typically held just before the championship heat. But at next year’s New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) championship meet, consolation finals will be missing from the program – and fewer racing opportunities will be afforded to the athletes.

In a recent vote by the NJSIAA Board of Directors, the decision was made to eliminate consolation finals from the Meet of Champions. The move will leave New Jersey on an island when it comes to high school championships, since just the top eight finishers in preliminaries will now be invited back to compete in the finals session. Previously, 16 athletes and relays returned for the finals session.

In most states, consolation finals not only provide athletes with additional racing opportunities, but scoring from consolations also has an impact on the team-title race. For ninth to 16th place, consolation scoring – for an eight-lane pool – is awarded on a 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. However, New Jersey’s Meet of Champs does not feature team scoring, a setup that may have made it easier for the NJSIAA to cut the consolation finals from the meet. New Jersey determines its state team champions via a dual-meet format.

Timed finals is the other format found in high school state-championship competitions around the nation.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
George Willard
George Willard
11 months ago

New Jersey continues to make decisions base on a terrible championship format. The MOC continues to move backwards. State titles should be decided by the best swimmers in the best meet not kids in lane 6 or a B relay in a dual meet.

Matthew McElroy
Matthew McElroy
11 months ago
Reply to  George Willard

We spend a ton of time talking about the importance of team sports and how everyone’s effort matters. Your choice says that the last three months don’t matter. It is only the wealthiest schools with the best club programs that should be allowed to call themselves champions.

While I disagree with the NJSIAA’S decision here (and in many other instances), the dual meet format best captures the spirit of high school sports.

Lou petto
Lou petto
11 months ago

While the dual meet tournament does include the “whole” team to be successful the reality is the teams that are winning the dual meet state tournament are flooded with club swimmers.

The NJ Meet of Champions is not a scored meet. The team state titles are decided in the dual meet tournament.

Even with that, the decision to not have consolation finals is terrible and short sighted.

Swim Parent
Swim Parent
11 months ago

That’s what the group state championships are for. This is just a senseless move to give less kids a chance to compete by people that obviously don’t understand competitive swimming and having a B final hurts nobody. It’s typically a 1-3 minute event so an additional 30-45minutes on the meet that nobody wants eliminated except this board of fools.

Matthew McElroy
Matthew McElroy
11 months ago
Reply to  Swim Parent

Oh goodness, just to clarify, to the previous two responses, the NJSIAA is completely failing here.
A B final doesn’t takes minimal time, and if anything provides a needed break for a swimmer who may be coming out of one event and into another. Consider the fairly common back to back events: Medley Relay-200 Free, 100 Fly- 100 Free, 500 Free-200 Free Relay- 100 Backstroke. While the NJSIAA expands the football season to 15 crippling games in the winter, they are worried about saving an hour or two during the culmination of the swim season.

Coach Drake
Coach Drake
11 months ago
Reply to  George Willard

Even though I disagree with NJSIAA eliminating consolation finals for several reasons, New Jersey actually has the best team championship system. A lane 6 relay is exactly what should determine the TEAM championship. Although rarely does it come down to that, a team with depth is the better team. The rationale to change in the 1980s was the revelation that undefeated dual meet teams would “lose” MOC champ meets to a few (almost exclusive) club swimmers who barely even swam together at their high school practices, and those same swimmers would often get beat by better TEAMS at dual meets. How can we declare a state team champion who is 9-4, but lost a dual a meet to a team that is 15-0? The better TEAM, the better program, the better coaching, is the one with more depth. The one committed to developing all their athletes.

Amanda Martin
Amanda Martin
11 months ago
Reply to  Coach Drake

Club swimmers ARE high school swimmers and all of them enjoy representing their high schools with pride. These swimmers deserve better from the NJSIAA. The focus of any governing board should be centered around the swimmers and providing opportunities for them to swim. Eliminating consolations finals at MOC removes an opportunity for swimmers to experience a big meet with the privilege of representing their high school. This decision is shameful and I wonder how many coaches were consulted before it was made.

Patti Shenk
Patti Shenk
11 months ago

Decision made by people in charge who know nothing about swimming! This change only hurts more swimmers, not one positive comes from this decision. Keep on hurting our kids!

Leander
Leander
11 months ago

Why are they doing this?

9
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x