NEWTON, NJ - For many in the state, focus will be on the solar eclipse on Monday. Acknowledging the attraction and impulse to look at the rare event has sparked the NJSIAA to issue a recommendation.
The organization that governs high school sports has asked athletic directors and coaches to both educate students about the potential danger in looking at the sun during the eclipse and plan scrimmage and practice times accordingly.
"To avoid potential issues, Newton High School coaches were reminded about the upcoming event and given information from the NJSIAA memo,” Newton High School Athletic Director Ryan Hashway said. “Additionally, we will have no practices or scrimmages scheduled throughout the duration of the eclipse.”
The event is predicted to take place between 1:20 and 4:10 p.m. While people in New Jersey will not see the sun totally eclipsed by the moon, the damaging effects are still possible. The sky will darken and it is expected that the temperature will be noticeably cooler during the eclipse according to experts.
“Cancelling athletic activity during the eclipse protects our athletes and also allows them to experience the natural phenomenon safely as their families see fit,” Hashaway said.
The NJSIAA Medical Advisory Committee Chair Dr. Jack Kripsak "advised members to proceed with caution." In a statement the doctor "warns that while the eclipse won't interfere with daily activities, looking directly into the corona visible around the edge of the moon can result in irreversible severe dye damage."
NASA's website had detailed description of the event as well as a discussion of eye safety.