The state of New Jersey will split the traditional three seasons of high school sports into four seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. Swimming (a winter sport) is delayed three weeks, beginning December 3, with no state championship meet.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) announced its Return to Sports plan today. The plan will condense sports seasons and move indoor fall sports (volleyball and gymnastics) to their own season in the spring. Here’s a look at the season start dates (for practice) and the sports in each season:
- Fall – September 14 (outdoor fall sports: football, cross country, field hockey, girls tennis, soccer)
- Winter – December 3 (winter sports: basketball, bowling, fencing, ice hockey, skiing, swimming & diving, track & field – winter, wrestling)
- New Season – February 16 (indoor fall sports: volleyball, gymnastics)
- Spring – dates TBA (spring sports: baseball, golf, lacrosse, boys tennis, track & field – spring, boys volleyball)
Swimming was previously set to start practice on November 11 and competition on November 18, with postseason tournaments taking place in late February and early March. (New Jersey runs team tournament which was set to conclude February 23, followed by an individual state meet on February 29 and March 1).
The new dates push back the season about three weeks, with practice starting December 3 and competition on December 21.
The return to play announcement also says the state will have “no statewide championships,” with post-season events “limited and local.”