New Hampshire Football Report

Changes coming to Division I

The 2021 NHIAA football season was the end of a two-year cycle, which means there will be some form of realignment between now and the start of the 2022 season. Some teams will move into new divisions, and the divisions themselves could take on a new shape.

The latter is likely in Division I, since Timberlane’s move from Division II to Division I will give Division I 21 teams. Unless a team drops to Division II, which at the moment appears unlikely, you can say goodbye to the four- conference format that has worked so well since the 2013 season.

Among the proposals reportedly being discussed is one that features three seven-team conferences where teams would play everyone in their conference once and then pick up three non-conference games; and a proposal put forth by Windham coach Jack Byrne, which divides Division I into two conferences (1A and 1B). One conference would have 10 teams, the other 11.

Byrne’s proposal can be seen by clicking the link below. It’s detailed, but in short each team would be placed in a division based not on enrollment, but by the program’s strength. The stronger programs would be in 1A, and the others would be in 1B. Teams could switch conferences at the end of every two years. Five teams would make the playoffs from Division 1A and three from Division 1B

Division I Realignment Proposal

Things would be much cleaner if a current Division I team would drop to Division II. One barrier is a rule that will take effect next season that states if a team plays in a division below where it would be placed by enrollment it cannot make the playoffs in its first season in the lower division. If that team makes the playoffs in Year 2, it would be forced to go back to the division where it fits by enrollment.

Changes to Division I could have a ripple effect and cause changes to the lower divisions as well.  Stat tuned.


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