NEW JERSEY - With the state on lockdown and schools on remote learning until at least May 9 because of the coronavirus crisis, the fate of the spring high school sports season remains in limbo. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association released a statement on Friday, April 10 on the possibility of an abbreviated season for spring sports.
The NJSIAA began in 1918 with 21 member schools. The organization now encompasses more than 400 public, private and parochial schools and is the governing body of state interscholastic athletics.
“The return-to-school date and related public health guidelines will continue to determine the viability of a spring sports season," the NJSIAA statement reads. "As noted, NJSIAA is committed to doing whatever is possible to provide New Jersey’s student-athletes with some type of spring season."
“Along with our leagues and conferences, NJSIAA has determined and communicated with member schools that if competitive events are possible, they will conclude no later than June 30," the statement continued. "Various models have been established based on potential return dates that range from mid-May to the end of that month, and leagues and conferences will be given substantial scheduling flexibility."
“Depending on the eventual date of return, a modified tournament may be offered, subject to availability of venues and ability to comply with any health-related restrictions that may still be in effect," the statement added. "At this stage, based on the return date, post-season play could range from a sectional tournament to only regular season play without a post-season."
According to the statement, should a spring season be able to take the field, all sports would have a six-day mandatory practice period prior to the commencement of games. The only exception to the six-day mandatory practice would be golf teams.
The NJSIAA concluded its statement by saying it will continue to hold teleconferences and virtual meetings with the heads of the states leagues and conferences in order "to monitor the situation and assess options."