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NJSIAA is pushing the HS winter competition to the full winter until 2021; wrestling gets bigger shifts

Winter college sports, which were expected to begin in two weeks in New Jersey, only have any games before 2021, presumably a response to growing concern over the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the governing body for high school sports in the state, turned from its original plans for the winter sports season, identified this year as “Season 2,” as described in NJSIAA’s plan released in the summer Thursday when it announced the wholesale changes in the winter plans in a note to member schools.

The biggest changes: The wrestling season shifts to season 3 for a start in March, and no season 2 sport will have NJSIAA-sponsored postseason tournaments.

This is what season 2 and winter sports look like now:

  • Wrestling takes place in season 3 ̵
    1; a period that was previously cut out for girls volleyball and gymnastics, autumn sports that could not be played in October and November. The season begins on March 1 for rehearsals, March 16 for games and ends on April 24, changed dates from the original plans. No mention was made in the note about the individual wrestling by season. Last week, NJ Advance Media proposed moving wrestling to season 3 with an outdoor individual state tournament in April.
  • Basketball, fencing and bowling now start with practices on January 11, games on January 26, and the mail season ends on March 6.
  • Ice hockey, the only sport starting before 2021, opens practice on December 14th and games on January 4th. The post-season for the hockey season ends on February 16th.
  • Swimming and indoor track, now in season 2A, begins with drills on February 1, competitions on February 16, and the mail season ends on March 27.
  • There is no NJSIAA-sponsored post season for any sports in season 2 or 2A, including basketball and ice hockey. Post-season games in these sports can be hosted locally by leagues and conferences.
  • Teams will be limited in season 2, season 2A and season 3 to three games / competitions per week.
  • Events with multiple teams, multiple games and invitations are prohibited in basketball and fencing. Events are currently limited to two teams in wrestling, swimming, indoor track and gymnastics, but this measure is subject to change, the memo said.

These changes, which the NJSIAA made in consultation with local health officials and government Phil Murphy, cannot be changed.

“NJSIAA will continue to consult DOH to determine whether multi-team or multi-game events are permitted; however, we expect that decisions to expand the range of participants and / or teams will not be made until closer to the start of the season, ”the memo said.

Colleen Maguire, Chief Operating Officer of NJSIAA, announced at the association’s executive committee meeting in November that a decision on the winter sports season would be made by November 20th. , amid another wave of COVID-19 in New Jersey and more restrictive crashes – had focused on using third-party facilities (ice hockey, bowling, swimming) and how schools, especially smaller ones, could handle more indoor sports moving to any season, said Maguire.

In what is becoming a hallmark of her tenure, Maguire also released a video Thursday, specifically aimed at student-athletes, explaining that over 80,000 of them competed in the fall season. She encouraged them to focus on what they were capable of, rather than on what they were not, and she encouraged them all – especially seniors – to thank the many people she says were responsible for making the fall season To happen. She also detailed much of what was in the release in a discussion of season 2 and stressed the importance of anti-COVID-19 measures, such as wearing a mask, over the Thanksgiving break.

A decision on spring dates will be announced before December 11, the memo said, and it is expected that the season will extend through the month of June.

Here is the full note published by NJSIAA (use this link if you access via Twitter or Facebook).

Brian Deakyne can be reached at bdeakyne@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrianDeakyne.

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