High school sports governing body responds to the unique circumstances of the 2020-21 school year

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – As it continues addressing challenges unique to the coronavirus pandemic, the NJSIAA today released updated guidelines related to transfers and spectators attending games.

Regarding transfers, while NJSIAA will continue to prohibit students from transferring for athletic advantage, it has modified what it identifies as “athletic advantage.” For the 2020-21 school year, a transfer for athletic advantage will not include a transfer made because the student’s school cancels or postpones an athletic program due to the pandemic. However, any student who transfers after Sept. 1, regardless of the reason, will be required to sit for half of the fall season, or 30 days, whichever is shorter. Fuller details on this revision and others related to transfers are available online here.

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As for spectators, schools are required to obey the outdoor gathering limit in place at that time.  Currently, the limit on outdoor gatherings is 500 people. However, this limit will not include participants or individuals that are on the field of play (coaches, officials, trainers, etc.).  More information on guidelines specific to the fall season are available online here.

“Our primary focus has and will continue to be providing student-athletes as many opportunities as possible to play the sports they love,” says Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA’s chief operating officer.  “So, whenever necessary or appropriate, we’ll revise regulations to accommodate the peculiarities of this unusual year. That’s what we’ve done today, and that’s what we’ll continue to do, as needed.” 

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.