Winter high school sports in New Jersey will not begin until the new year.
In response to the recent COVID-19 surge in the state, the NJSIAA, New Jersey’s high school sports governing body, shifted away from its initial plans for winter sports on Thursday, pushing all competition until 2021.
Winter sports were originally designated for “Season 2” under the NJSIAA’s original four-season plan for high school sports this scholastic year. The biggest changes to the NJSIAA’s original plan are wrestling being shifted from Season 2 to “Season 3”, which was a period previously created for volleyball, gymnastics and fall sports that could not be played in October or November. No Season 2 sports will have NJSIAA-sponsored postseason tournaments, meaning there will be no boys or girls basketball Tournament of Champions in 2021.
Basketball, fencing and bowling will now begin practices on Jan. 11 and games on Jan. 26. Swimming and indoor track will begin practices on Feb. 1 and competition on Feb. 16. Wrestling will begin practices on March 1 and matches on March 16. Ice hockey, the only sport that will begin before 2021, will begin practices on Dec. 14 and games on Jan. 4.
These changes are not subject to change, as they were made in collaboration with Gov. Phil Murphy.
“NJSIAA will continue to consult with DOH to determine if multi-team or multi-game events will be permissible; however, we expect decisions on expanding the scope of participants and/or teams will not be made until closer to the start of the season,” NJSIAA said in a statement.