"It would create fewer teams [in each section] and create more opportunities," Murphy said.
Since the creation of the field hockey tournament in 1971, nonpublic and public teams have been grouped together by enrollment. Nonpublic powers such as Oak Knoll of Union County as well as Camden Catholic, Bishop Eustace, and St. Joseph of Hammonton have won Group 1 and Group 2 titles in recent seasons.
"There's been some concern on the part of the public schools as far as the success of programs like Oak Knoll and St. Joe's" in Group 1, McGraw-Cole said.
McGraw-Cole said Non-Public North and Non-Public South each likely would have about 14 teams. The two sectional winners would meet for the Non-Public state title.
The fifth state champion would create an extra round for the Tournament of Champions. McGraw-Cole said the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds, as determined by a committee, would meet in a play-in game, with the winner playing the No. 1 seed.
Track change. The executive committee also approved on first reading a motion to change the team scoring system for the state track and field championships.
Under the proposal, athletes from every school would be considered for individual titles, but only athletes from the eight schools that finished in the top two in each sectional would be considered in team scoring.
So an athlete from a team that finished in the top two in the sectional could finish sixth in his event at the state meet and still earn 10 points for his team if the five finishers ahead of him represented schools that did not finish in the top two in sectional meets.
"The track committee felt this was a way to determine the strongest team for the team title," said NJSIAA associate director Don Danser, who oversees track and field.
Start date. By a vote of 17-5 with two abstentions, the executive committee approved a proposal by the Big North Conference to allow schools the option of starting the 2013 fall season on Friday, Sept. 6.
Previously, the NJSIAA had announced that the fall season for all sports except tennis, which opens a few days earlier, would start on Thursday, Sept. 12.
The change also affects the 2014 fall season, when schools will have the option of starting on Friday, Sept. 5.
Football teams would be allowed to start on the earlier weekend, if both schools in a game agree. That would create a bye week later in the season.
If teams in any sport elected to start the season on the earlier weekend, their first date of preseason practice would move back to Aug. 12.
Winter tickets. The NJSIAA announced that the office of the Commission of Education has informed the organization that it may charge $8 for adults and $2 for students and seniors at the boys' and girls' basketball Tournament of Champions final at the Izod Center and $10 and $3 for the hockey state finals at the Prudential Center.
The NJSIAA had been allowed to charge $10 and $5 at both events last winter.
Tickets for the state wrestling championships at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will be $10 for adults and $2 for students and seniors. But the NJSIAA will receive just $9 and $1 from those sales, as Boardwalk Hall takes a $1 surcharge from each ticket sale.
Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @PhilAnastasia. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports