New Jersey Will Shut Down Indoor Youth Sports, Including Swimming, on Saturday

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 21

November 30th, 2020 Club, News

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Monday that his office was suspending all indoor high school and youth sports in the state amid a rise in new coronavirus cases.

The ban goes into effect on Saturday, December 5 at 6AM and will last until at least January 2, Murphy said at a news briefing.

Murphy pointed to a number of outbreaks among youth sports as the reason for this ban. According to the medical director of the New Jersey department of health Dr. Edward Lifshitz, there have been at least 20 outbreaks and more than 100 cases of coronavirus infection tied to youth hockey.

“I’m a huge sports fan, and all of our kids play sports,” Murphy said. “I hope and intend to see the winter sports season in January. I want to see especially that high school senior get to play her or his last season. And I value the importance of sports for the physical and mental well-being of our children.”

Indoor collegiate and professional sports will not be impacted by the decision.

The new rules also limit outdoor gatherings from 150 people to 25 people, with exceptions for religious events, political activities, funerals, memorial services, wedding ceremonies, and outdoor dining.

Murphy Tweeted out several charts of the rising hospitalizations, including a dramatic increase of individuals in critical or intensive care, in the state.

Murphy followed-up saying that while all options, including a total shutdown as was implemented early in the pandemic, are on the table, he does not anticipate having to enact such restrictions.

“We now have the ability to be more focused & surgical,” Murphy Tweeted. “We have much better data & science to draw from now than 8 months ago, and can focus restrictions on activities that have proven to have the greatest risk of transmission.”

Watch the COVID briefing here:

According to data collected by the New York Times, the state is averaging 4,018 new cases per day over the last week, which is a 14% increase from two weeks earlier. Those numbers are also higher than the early-April peak of the first wave of new infections, which saw New Jersey, especially the area around New York City, as an early hotspot of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations and deaths are both rising, but are still well-below the early-pandemic rates.

The move comes as USA Swimming begins its open-site Winter Junior Championships on Tuesday. New Jersey teams could, in theory, put together meets early in this week and still participate in those championships, but the new restrictions will interrupt all competition and training beginning Saturday.

A non-scientific survey conducted earlier this month by the New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance, a group formed to try and keep pools open in the state through the pandemic, had no self-reported spread at the state’s indoor poosl.

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Captain Ahab
1 month ago

What would happen if everybody in New Jersey just said “No sir, we are not doing that”?

Swimmer A
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 month ago

Larger spike

Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 month ago

Rate of cases increases

Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 month ago

More people die.

1 month ago

So clearly the data for this decision is laughable and nonexistent. Is there a legal remedy to pursue?

Reply to  Njclownshow
1 month ago

So GLAD to finally be reading more and more AMERICAN citizens STARTING to express concern for our reductions in liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The COVID-panic promoted by government MUST STOP. Patriots need to stand tall and say enough!!!

Reply to  SwimFani
1 month ago

What the Patriots need is a new QB. Cam Newton ain’t cutting it.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Which I’m blaming on him getting Covid.

He was good the first couple weeks!

Reply to  Njclownshow
1 month ago

Sue the governor. It worked in other states

1 month ago

The average coronavirus casualty is 81 years old, thanks for keeping those kids safe!

Reply to  youth
1 month ago

So right on.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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