The process of expanding the number of individual qualifiers for the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling Championships and team state qualifiers for the NJSIAA Team Wrestling Tournament began on Tuesday with a proposal by the NJSIAA Wrestling Committee.

The committee approved a proposal that would allow the top four finishers in each of the eight region tournaments to qualify for the state tournament in Atlantic City instead of three. A separate proposal would expand the team sectional tournament field from six to eight teams.

NJSIAA Executive Director Steve Timko told the Asbury Park Press the proposals still need to pass the NJISAA Program Review, Finance and Executive committees. If they do they will be implemented for the 2016-2017 season. The next vote will likely come in the fall.

Moving from three state qualifiers per region to four would create a 32-man state bracket and eliminate first-round byes for region champions. This would mean one complete bracket instead of the current, two half-bracket system where all head-to-head results are not always factored.

There is sure to be some division on the subject given the third-place region matches receive a lot of attention for their win-or-go-home nature. On the flip side, many wrestlers that finish fourth in their region, especially Region VI, were serious contenders to finish in the top eight at the state tournament.

The eight-team sectional field would eliminate first-round byes for the top two seeds in the NJSIAA Team Tournament.


Wrestling editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.