NJSIAA pushes back nearly all high school winter sports to new year
"As many schools may be shifting
to a remote learning model during the holiday season either proactively or in
response to community spread, therefore, in order for your season to start with
the least amount of disruption, we feel it is in the best interest of everyone
to wait until after the winter holiday break to start practices in the sports,” says
NJSIAA COO Colleen Maguire.
Basketball, fencing and
bowling can begin practice and competition in January; swimming and winter track and field in
February, and gymnastics, girls' volleyball and wrestling in March.
Hockey, which can start
practicing in December, is the only winter sport to not be pushed back due to
contractual obligations with rinks.
"For winter track and field,
we hope that indoor capacity restrictions will ease, which could allow for
indoor competition. If not, there is a better chance that the weather will
allow for polar bear meets,” says Maguire.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed an
executive order earlier this week lowering the limit on indoor gatherings. Under the executive order, indoor
sports practices and games are allowed to surpass the 10-person cap, but only
for those necessary for competition, such as the players, coaches and referees
-- meaning spectators are not allowed. The association is also focusing on the
spring sports schedule.
“While your season may start later than the usual
schedule, it will also end later,” says Maguire. “Our goal is to provide a meaningful season that will
have a path to traditional state championships."
The association says plans
will be released on or before Dec. 11 for the spring sports season, and that the season will likely be
extended through June.