NJSIAA Not Yet Giving Up on a Spring Sports Season

by Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci | Apr 14, 2020
NJSIAA Not Yet Giving Up on a Spring Sports Season
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) is not throwing in the towel on the spring sports season but that doesn’t mean there will be one.
 
This past week the neighboring Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) cancelled all winter championships and spring sports. This decision came after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe announced that schools would be closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Also this past week the NJSIAA made the following statement.
 
“This week, the NJSIAA hosted a remote meeting with its League & Conference officers to discuss potential modifications to the spring sports season if, and when, a return to athletics is permitted. The NJSIAA continues to monitor the communications from both the Governor’s Office and public health officials, and is dedicated to providing its student-athletes with a spring season within the bounds of what is safe and practical for its member schools.
 
As a result of the conversations with its League & Conference officers, keeping in mind the potential return to-school date, the NJSIAA will make the following modifications to the spring sports season:
 
1. The spring sports season will be extended to June 30, but it will not extend beyond that.
 
2. Prior to the resumption of interscholastic competition, student-athletes in all sports, with the exception of golf, will be required to have six days of practice and one day of rest. After the first three days of practice, student-athletes may participate in scrimmages that will count toward the six days of practice.

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3. If athletics are permitted to resume prior to May 25, the NJSIAA will run modified Sectional tournaments in late June. Additionally, schools may continue interscholastic competition up until June 30, outside of participation in Sectional tournaments. The NJSIAA understands that some sports may be limited by venue availability and public health guidelines and orders.
 
4. If athletics are permitted to resume after Memorial Day, May 25, the NJSIAA will not run any Sectional tournaments. The Leagues & Conferences may locally host interscholastic competition and schools may participate in interscholastic competition up until June 30.

Lastly, the NJSIAA reminds its member schools and student-athletes of the mandatory, no in-person contact restrictions that are in place, and that these restrictions apply to all sports, regardless of season. The NJSIAA will continue to consult with the leaders of its Leagues & Conferences to assess all options, with its eye on conducting a safe and productive spring sports season. Further guidance and updates will be provided as information from the Governor’s Office and public health officials becomes available.”
 
So the NJSIAA won’t be holding state championships, but there remains a chance for games to be played and there still remains the possibility for sectional championships. 
 
Keep in mind that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a recommendation that is through May 9 in which organizers whether groups or individuals, cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people throughout the United States. Since then, President Trump has suggested that Groups of no larger of 10 should gather.
 
Who knows what mandates will exist after that initial May 9 date? Right now, the odds still don’t appear to favor having a spring sports season but at least the NJSIAA is giving it every last chance to see if the seniors can have one more season.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci

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