Wednesday afternoon the NJSIAA released an updated FAQs sheet on their stance with the outdoor sporting season threatened by the Coronavirus. Again the focus is about making sure there is some sort of opportunity to compete should schools return from the state-wide shutdown.
As events change they will continue to provide updates.
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UPDATED NJSIAA FAQ's -- Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - March 25, 2020
NJSIAA staff is focused on participation opportunities that will be available to its student-athletes as soon as schools reopen. All student-athletes will need an immediate sense of normalcy and providing even a semblance of a spring season will be essential to their physical and emotional health. It also will benefit the entire school community. Below are new FAQs that follow up the list we shared on Monday, March 16.
1. What is the status of the NJSIAA office?
All NJSIAA staff are working remotely, outside our physical office. All directors can be contacted directly, either via email or their cell phone.
2. What is the status of NJSIAA committee meetings?
All key meetings, such as those of our Executive Committee and its sub-committees, are being held as scheduled via the Cisco WebEx platform. Remote access to all meetings and other sessions necessary to continue the association's business will continue, while non-essential meetings have been postponed until further notice.
3. Are coaches allowed to have in-person contact with student-athletes while schools are shut down?
No, during the governor's statewide shutdown of all schools, no NJSIAA member school, school district, or coach may conduct practices, scrimmages, or games (which includes all official interscholastic contests). This is a mandatory period of no in-person contact between coaches and their student-athletes.
During the governor's statewide shutdown of all schools, no practices, scrimmages, or games may be held. This includes any event organized by a parent, captain, or other student-athlete.
These restrictions relate to all sports, not just spring sports.
These restrictions are in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with restrictions imposed by the governor and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health.
Coaches may interact virtually with their student-athletes, including providing workouts or training materials. However, such virtual contact - as well as any activity that may result from it - must strictly conform to all directives in effect related to the coronavirus outbreak and social distancing guidelines. In addition, any virtual contact and resultant activities must be entirely in keeping with all NJSIAA in- and off-season protocols.
4. When schools are able to reopen, how will NJSIAA determine the length of the regular season?
While the return-to-school date will play a significant role in determining the length of the regular season, NJSIAA staff will also discuss options with officers of each league and conference. Important factors in determining the potential length of the regular season will be feedback from these officers related to the status of various county or conference tournaments, as well as plans for abridged divisional and/or inter-conference schedules.
5. What is the status of NJSIAA championship tournaments?
As stated in the previous FAQ, all dates, locations, and qualification requirements per each sport's tournament will be subject to change. As soon as a return-to-school date is made official, NJSIAA staff will work directly with key tournament staff for each sport to structure championship tournaments. Also, NJSIAA staff will work together to ensure that all sports will, as much as is feasible, provide consistent opportunities for participation and championship play.
6. What is the status of the NJSIAA Annual Business Meeting?
NJSIAA staff is currently evaluating all options regarding its Annual Business Meeting, including sectional meeting presentations. Options will be discussed with the Executive Committee, which needs to approve any change to the existing timeline and procedures. Plans for modification to the Annual Business Meeting will be announced once they're approved.
7. Will NJSIAA host its annual Scholar Athlete Luncheon?
No, the NJSIAA Scholar Athlete Luncheon, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 17, has been cancelled. NJSIAA is continuing to solicit nominations from each member school and will send each honoree a certificate and gift. Monetary scholarships, however, will not be awarded this year.