NJSIAA Baseball Teams to Have State Tournament

NJSIAA Baseball Teams to Have State Tournament
The NJSIAA recently announced its plans for high school baseball and this year there will not only be a sectional tournament, but a state tourney as well.
Last season the pandemic hit during preseason practice and teams had only been practicing for a little more than week when the season was first postponed and then canceled. 
Many sports such as soccer and field hockey offered a sectional tournament in the fall but not a state tourney.
Baseball will have both.
Usually, baseball practice begins in the first week of March with the season starting April 1, but things are being pushed back this season.
That is because due to the pandemic, the NJSIAA is having four sports seasons instead of the usual three. The third of the seasons, where baseball usually takes place. is beginning now, with wrestling, gymnastics and girls’ volleyball beginning the regular season on March 16. Those seasons will end April 24.
Gymnastics and girls’ volleyball are usually held in the fall, but were moved this season due to the pandemic, with the NJSIAA figuring correctly that it would be better to move indoor sports later in the year. 
As for baseball, the first virtual contact was allowed on March 1.
Pitchers and catchers are able to begin practicing on March 26, with the first team practice on April 1. The first scrimmage can take place on April 8. 
Opening day will be April 19.
The cutoff for the state tournament is May 23, giving teams a little more than a month to qualify.
Here is the state tournament setup
Public School Tournament
All games in the sectional tournament will be played at the higher seed
Round 1: must be played by June 2
Round 2: by June 5
Round 3: by June 8
Sectional final: June 11
State semifinals: June 14. They will be played at a site to be determined
Group finals: June 19 at Veterans Park in Hamilton (rain date, June 20)
Non-Public Tournament
As with the Public tournament, all sectional games will be played at the higher seed
Round 1: June 1
Round 2: by June 4
Round 3: by June 7
Sectional final: June 10
State championship: June 16 Veterans Park, Hamilton (Rain dates, June 17 and June 18)
In looking at this, the high school baseball season is starting a little less than three weeks later than usual and will end about a week and a half later than usual. 
One advantage is that teams will likely play in better weather. Some of those early April games, not to mention scrimmage in mid to late March, can be brutally cold.

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After missing out on last season, the players and coaches, however, will be ready to play in any climate, appreciative that their sport has returned. 
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Author: Marc Narducci


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