VERONA/CEDAR GROVE, NJ - As many have heard, there will be a solar eclipse on Monday afternoon between 1:20 and 4:10 p.m., presenting a unique concern for the athletic directors at Verona and Cedar Grove High School. With fall sports practices kicking off last week, afternoon practices are the norm but schedules are being rearranged to protect student athletes.
The NJSIAA Medical Advisory Committee issued a warning this week about the solar eclipse, urging athletic directors and coaches to be cautious and plan scrimmages and practices times around the eclipse, since unusual darkness will occur. In addition, Committee Chair Dr. Jack Kripsak warned 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 eye damage. As a result, athletes without proper guidance or eyewear could be at risk -- not all sunglasses provide proper protection.
In light of the concerns, all Verona student athletes will be of the fields by 1 p.m. on Monday.
"This is something I was discussing with my trainer starting on Tuesday," said Verona athletic director Robert Merkler. "We went to different websites to learn about the eclipse and decided we would have all teams off the fields by 1 pm just to be safe."
Cedar Grove is following a similar protocol with all teams off the fields by 12:30 p.m.
"We have advised our athletic teams that their practices should be over by 12:30 pm on Monday or should be scheduled later in the evening due to the solar eclipse," said Cedar Grove athletic director Robert Gogerty.
Monday's solar eclipse will be the first solar eclipse in the United States since 1979. For tips on safe viewing check out Safety Tips for Monday's Solar Eclipse. Business Insider provides a list of approved eclipse eye protection. Additional safety information on the solar eclipse can be found on NASA.com.