PISCATAWAY, NJ -- The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has released updated guidelines for the upcoming 2020 cross-country season. There will be no group championships or New Jersey Meet of Champions in 2020, driven by the NJSIAA’s desire to limit travel and mixing of athletes from around the state.

However, there will be sectional championships meets, scheduled on the weekends of November 14 and 21. There is a deadline of October 26 for schools to opt out of the state meets. The sectionals will be held in the same location as they were in 2019.

Teams will be limited by gender to 10 people, seven runners, two coaches and one team manager.  

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At the start of races, runners will be lined up single file, one through seven, with markings noting six feet apart. Video will be used at the finish to avoid bunching at the chute. Multiple chutes will be utilized to keep athletes moving through the finish area. 

Teams are being told not to arrive early to the site and will be given a two-hour window at the sectional to arrive, warm-up run, quickly cool down and then leave. No team tents will be allowed at the sectionals.

At dual and tri-meets during the season, teams are being encouraged to continue these safety precautions wherever possible. Guidance on getting creative to avoid bunching of runners at the finish chute include bringing back-numbered popsicle sticks to help with quick scoring and exiting. 

For the 2020 season, teams are allowed one preseason scrimmage after six days of practice and one day of rest. During the regular season teams are allowed one dual meet and one invitational meet or two duals and no invitational. Batch races can have no more than four teams competing at the same time.

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