ROBBINSVILLE >> The NJSIAA’s Sports Advisory Task Force – the statewide group of athletic administrators tasked with developing a return-to-play plan for New Jersey high school sports – has released its plan for the spring sports season.
In keeping with its pledge to providing as complete a spring season as possible, the NJSIAA’s schedule for the spring of 2021 offers the opportunity for the same number of games to be played as during a conventional season, while also providing the opportunity for statewide championships. Start dates were pushed back to minimize overlap with sports being played during Season 2A and Season 3. The integrity of the spring sports season, however, remains intact.
“Minimizing overlap and avoiding direct conflicts between sports has always been a top priority of the Sports Advisory Task Force,” said Dave Frazier, chair of the task force. “After the loss of the spring 2020 season, we want to ensure every student-athlete has the opportunity to participate in each sport they would have during a normal year.”
For all spring sports, virtual contact may start on March 1, 2021. For Boys Tennis, practice will begin on March 26, with competition starting on April 19. Golf practices may begin on April 1, with competition starting April 9. Baseball and softball pitchers and catchers may start practicing on March 26. For all other spring season sports, April 1 will be the first day for practices, with competition beginning on April 19. For all spring sports, competition ends no later than June 20.
Tournament information for all spring sports will be available no later than Feb. 15.
“Multi-sport athletes should be celebrated, and not made to choose between two sports that they love,” said Colleen Maguire, COO of the NJSIAA. “As a result of indoor practices and competition being suspended per Executive Order No. 204, some overlap between seasons is unavoidable. But based on our latest plan, student-athletes will still have the opportunity to compete during all seasons.”
Maguire also noted that participation in any in-season sport must take priority over virtual workouts or virtual meetings related to an out-of-season sport.
Based on orders from the New Jersey Department of Health and the governor’s office, out-of-state competition continues to be restricted. NJSIAA will continue to keep member schools updated on the state’s guidance, while reserving the right to impose further restrictions.
About the NJSIAA
Established in 1918, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) is a voluntary, non-profit organization comprised of 436 accredited public and non-public high schools. A member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the NJSIAA conducts tournaments and crowns champions in 33 sports.
Championship competition for girls is sponsored in basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, outdoor track, winter track, volleyball, and wrestling.
Boys’ championships are determined in baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, outdoor track, winter track, volleyball, and wrestling.