NJSIAA's Colleen Maguire Delivers Message On Return To Play

On Thursday NJSIAA COO Colleen Maguire released a video message for New Jersey's high school student-athletes regarding the status of high school sports and the return to play plan.

The video covers key areas the NJSIAA is addressing to ensure a safe return to sports.

Select quotes from Colleen Maguire's above presentation.

"The NJSIAA is working directly with the Governor's office and the Department of Education to stay abreast with all return to school guidelines and requirements. School based athletics are an extension of the classroom, a return to play must be in coordination with a return to school." 

"We have formed a medical advisory task force that is meeting on a weekly basis. This task force is comprised of three knowledgeable and experienced doctors that have expertise in sports related medicine as well as a dedicated representative from the Department of Education. Their efforts are directed at establishing return to play guidelines in phases. Which will begin with conditioning workouts this summer and conclude with regular season play this fall." 

"It is important to note that schools are not required to host summer workouts and that each school will make the decision that best fits the needs of their school community."

"We have also formed a sports advisory task force. This task force has eight athletic directors from across the state, all of whom are smart, creative and experienced. Their efforts are directed at suggesting any changes or modifications that may be necessary by sport in order to meet any and all guidelines."

"Given the current circumstances this task force is also going to suggest creative ways to provide the best participation experience possible for every student athlete and every sport."

"I am personally participating in weekly calls with the leaders of other state high school associations in our region. Every week we share updates on our conversations with state officials and we discuss our return to play plans."

"While all plans and dates will always be subject to change, I am hopeful that in a few weeks you will get the opportunity to start working out with your teammates again. We are continuing to work hard towards identifying the start dates for your fall sports seasons and will be keeping your athletic director up to date on a regular basis during the summer."

"The upcoming fall sports season will not look like last year's season. While I do not have a crystal ball to predict how the season will be different we can be assured there will be changes. For instance, you may not be able to play as many games, you may not be traveling as much, or your season could start later or end earlier. Also your school day will not look the same as prior years. 

"Therefore, we will all need to stay patient, be flexible, and continue to be grateful for our family, our friends, and our teammates every day. Constant communication and transparency will be the only way to get through this difficult period."

"So while we are all super busy working toward a safe return to play, I have a few reminders... Please do everything you can to keep yourselves, your teammates, and your coaches healthy. While we are witnessing a rush to return to play by youth sports organizations, including your club sports, the NJSIAA has no jurisdiction over these programs. Therefore be sure to follow all health guidelines applicable to your activity and do your best to maintain social distancing, continue hand washing on a regular basis, use hand sanitizer frequently on the sidelines, and don't forget to hydrate as often as possible."

"You may not be aware but there are serious risks of potential cardiac injury that may result from COVID-19 infection. These risks are applicable to any age. Therefore I strongly encourage each of you to make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible to get a sports physical. Many COVID-19 infections in younger people have gone undetected."

"Lastly please remember the more serious we take these health guidelines this summer, the better the changes are for a full and successful fall sports season."