The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) rolled out its Spring sports schedule with April 1 a start date for most athletes.
The new schedule comes as NJSIAA officials delayed the start dates of the Spring season to minimize overlap with sports being played during Season 2A and 3.
“Multi-sport athletes should be celebrated, and not made to choose between two sports that they love,” said Colleen Maguire, COO of the NJSIAA in a press statement Dec. 11. “As a result of indoor practices and competition being suspended per Executive Order No. 204, some overlap between seasons is unavoidable. But based on our latest plan, student-athletes will still have the opportunity to compete during all seasons.”
The official start dates for Season 4 Spring high school sports are:
- Boys tennis virtual contact begins March 1, 2021, practice begins March 26, 2021, competition begins April 19, 2021 and competition ends June 20, 2021.
- Boys golf virtual contact begins March 1, 2021, practice begins April 1, 2021, competition begins April 9, 2021 and competition ends June 20, 2021.
- All other Spring sports virtual contact begins March 1, 2021, practice begins April 1, 2021, competition begins April 19, 2021 and competition ends June 20, 2021.
Post season for Spring sports will be held from June 1-20, 2021. Golf and tennis dates are still to be determined due to the use of third party facilities. Practice for baseball and softball pitchers and catchers are allowed to start March 26, 2021.
All regular season rules and regulations will be in effect, including the maximum number of contests and postseason qualification.
New Hockey Schedule
The schedule comes a month after NJSIAA announced its Winter schedule. Since then, Gov. Phil Murphy paused all indoor sports until Jan. 3, 2021. As a result, this has led to the delay in the ice hockey season.
The schedule for Winter in New Jersey as of Dec. 11:
- Ice hockey virtual and outdoor practice can begin Dec. 14, indoor practice begins Jan. 5, 2021,competition begins Jan. 15, 2021 and competition ends March 6, 2021.
- Basketball, fencing and bowling practice begins Jan. 11, 2021, competition begins Jan. 26, 2021 and competition ends March 6, 2021.
- Swimming and winter track & field practice begins Feb. 1, 2021, competition begins Feb. 16, 2021 and competition ends March 27, 2021.
- Gymnastics, girls volleyball and wrestling practice begins March 1, 2021, competition begins March 16, 2021 and competition ends April 24, 2021.
All sports will be limited to three games a week, which includes league or conference tournaments, as well as one scrimmage before the season starts. Multi-team, multi-game and invitational events are prohibited. Post-season play may be hosted locally by participating leagues and conferences at their discretion but there will be no NJSIAA sponsored post-season.
In its November announcement, NJSIAA postponed wrestling to Season 3 along with girls volleyball and gymnastics created for this school year. All competition will be limited to two teams only.
As of Dec. 11, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 390,256 with 3,821 total new cases reported and 55 new deaths, bringing that total to 15,794. The state listed probable deaths at 1,868, bringing the overall total to 17,662.
For North Jersey counties, Essex had a total of 370 new cases, Bergen 359 new cases, Passaic 348 new cases, Hudson 274 new cases, Morris 191 new cases, Sussex 60 new cases and Warren 36 new cases.
State officials noted 54 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,057, followed by Bergen at 1,939, Hudson with 1,464, Passaic at 1,216, Morris at 735, Sussex at 163 and Warren with 161.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 254, Essex has 234, Hudson has 159, Morris at 157, Passaic at 144, Sussex has 39 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Dec. 7 was 14.1%, with the North reporting 14.8%, Central 13.2% and South 14.2% on approximately 38,000 tests. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one.
As for the rate of transmission, it increased to 1.14 from 1.12 the day before. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 3,571 patients were hospitalized, 3,332 of those cases confirmed and 238 under investigation. By region, there were 1,627 in the North, 1,150 in the Central and 794 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 687 are in intensive care units and 421 on ventilators. While 425 patients were discharged, 467 were admitted.
Essex Tops County Count
Essex has the most cumulative cases in the state with 40,145, followed by Bergen at 39,588, Hudson at 36,348, Middlesex at 35,674, Passaic at 34,480, Union at 31,755, Ocean at 25,418, Monmouth at 24,558, Camden at 22,973, Burlington at 16,422, Morris at 16,164, Mercer at 15,755, Gloucester at 11,134, Somerset at 10,411, Atlantic at 9,368, Cumberland at 6,032, Sussex at 3,219, Warren at 2,988, Hunterdon at 2,935, Salem at 2,064 and Cape May at 1,908.
Another 917 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 88 outbreaks involving 388 cases have been reported in 19 of the 21 counties in the Garden State, with 15 new outbreaks involving 103 cases recorded in the last week. For North Jersey, Bergen County has 15 confirmed outbreaks with 79 cases, Passaic County has four confirmed outbreaks with 23 cases, Warren County has four confirmed outbreaks with nine cases, Sussex County has three confirmed outbreaks with seven cases and Hudson County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 391 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 8,229 of the cases, broken down between 3,859 residents and 4,370 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,090 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 27,904 residents and 17,068 staff, for a total of 44,972 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,373 on Dec. 11. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,044 residents deaths and 124 staff deaths.