The NJSIAA has a Good Plan, but Pandemic Uncertainty Puts Fall Sports Season in Question

by Marc Narducci | Jul 15, 2020
The NJSIAA has a Good Plan, but Pandemic Uncertainty Puts Fall Sports Season in Question
The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) came up with a concrete plan for the fall sports schedule, that naturally is subject to change, depending on how the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Still, it was a well-thought out plan and it certainly shows that the NJSIAA wants to give the high school athletes a fall sports season.
That doesn’t mean it will happen, but at least for now, there is a plan in place.
The NJSIAA is buying necessary time and says that a decision on whether to proceed with their current model or another contingency model will be made no later than the season will come on Aug. 28.
Here are the key points of the plan.
*All seasons will be condensed and not begin until October, with the exception of girls’ tennis which will start Sept. 28.
There will be shortened seasons.
The regular seasons will end Nov. 12, except for football, which ends on Nov. 7.
Football will have six regular season games and two playoff contests.
All the sports seasons will end by Nov. 22 The only exception is there is a traditional Thanksgiving rivalry in football. That will be allowed to continue.
From July 13 until Aug. 28 schools are able to have summer workouts. Then after a two-week period, fall sports can begin official practice on Sept. 14.
As stated earlier, nobody knows if we will even get to this point, but if teams are able to have practice on Sept. 14 that would be viewed as a positive sign.
It’s difficult to get one’s hopes up, however when viewing the college sports landscape. Already, the Ivy League has cancelled fall sports. No decision has been made on whether those sports will be played in the spring.
Keep in mind, that the Ivy League was the first to cancel its college basketball league tournament when the pandemic hit.
At the time the Ivy League was criticized, but within days the rest of the leagues in college basketball and all sports was following the Ivy League’s lead.
On Monday, the Division I Patriot League cancelled fall sports. Division III Centennial Conference, which includes Philadelphia area schools such as Swarthmore, Haverford College and Ursinus, has also canceled its fall sports schedule.
While these signs look ominous to New Jersey high schools being able to compete this fall, the NJSIAA has made it known that it will do everything possible to see that sports can be played, as long as the participants are safe.

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Right now, nobody knows if that will be a realistic.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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