TRENTON, NJ — After a forced time-out of nearly one month, indoor sports in New Jersey returned this weekend, clearing the way for the start of the high school sports winter season.

Since Gov. Phil Murphy did not extend his December 5 ban placed on organized indoor sports — practices and competitions for youths and adults — these activities resumed on January 2 but with attendance limited to no more than 10 persons, excluding players, coaches and officials. 

In addition, the total number of individuals at an event still may not exceed 25 percent of the venue’s capacity, or no more than 150 persons. 

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New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association responded to the news with this statement: “NJSIAA welcomes the governor’s announcement and continued support, and looks forward to the beginning of the indoor, winter, scholastic sports season — specifically, NJSIAA season 2.”

The first day of practice for high school basketball, fencing and bowling will be January 11, as swimming, diving and winter track will begin practicing on February 1. Wrestling, girls volleyball and gymnastics will start practices on March 1. Ice hockey games will kick off on January 15. 

However, the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues will continue through at least January 31, under an agreement reached by Murphy and the governors of Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The prohibition does not apply to interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and/or restrictions, according to state officials.

Click here for Administrative Order 2020-25.