NJSIAA to allow fall sports workouts beginning July 13

Phase one of the official return of high school sports begins on July 13th through July 26th. Jersey Sports Zone has the bullet points of the long list of guidelines to pave the way for athletes to get back on campus


The last time the NJSIAA officially had high school sports was back on March 13 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the remainder of the 2020 high school winter season and the entire spring sports slate. With a pair of task forces representing the medical and athletic side, the NJSIAA has given the green light for fall sports athletes to begin training on July 13 in a two week first phase and a return to sports.

“These guidelines represent the first of a succession of steps toward meeting our return to play targets,” says Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA chief operating officer. “But, it’s important that we take a disciplined approach and stay mindful of health and safety concerns for all.”

The details of Phase Two will be released sometime in July. At this point, the fall sports schedule is set to begin on time but can change as the state continues to monitor the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unlike youth and recreation sports — which are operating on an accelerated schedule — high school sports must remain in sync with our schools,” added Tony Maselli, NJSIAA assistant director. “Scholastic athletics are part of the school curriculum; they don’t operate independently. As the most densely populated state and one that was significantly impacted by COVID-19 during the spring, New Jersey is working to safely return to school more than 1.5 million teachers and students – including 283,000 scholastic athletes – without causing a significant spike. Our guidelines provide a staged approach to those schools that wish to move forward during July. And, at the same time, they give student-athletes time to ease into more rigorous activities.“

PHASE ONE FALL SPORTS WORKOUT GUIDELINES

  • Student-athletes who presently have COVID-19, or who have tested positive for COVID-19, shall provide clearance from a physician before he/she will be permitted to participate in workouts.
  • Each day all coaches, student-athletes, and staff must clear the pre-screening process before they are permitted to participate in the workouts. The pre-screening process will consist of a review of the pre-screening questionnaire, which shall be completed and provided designated school personnel, and a temperature check.
  • Any individual who answers “yes” to any question on the questionnaire, or who has a temperature greater
    than 100.4°F, shall not be permitted to participate in the workout and shall be required to return home.
  • Workouts shall be no more than ninety (90) minutes in duration and shall include a ten (10) minute warm-up, and a ten (10) minute cool down.
  • Only one workout per day is permitted and there must be one (1) day of rest per every seven (7) days.
  • Access to workouts must be limited to student-athletes, coaches, and appropriate school personnel.
  • There shall not be any physical contact, of any kind, between student-athletes and coaches during PHASE 1.
  • Throughout PHASE 1, workouts shall be limited to conditioning, skill sets, and sport-specific non-contact drills.

Face Coverings
a. Student-athletes who are engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity, e.g., running, sprinting, etc., do not need
to wear face coverings during the period of the aerobic activity. Once the aerobic activity is over, student-athletes shall wear face coverings.
b. Student-athletes who are not engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity, e.g., sitting on the bench, reviewing
plays, watching videos, waiting in line, etc., are encouraged to wear face coverings.
c. Coaches and district personnel must wear face coverings at all times.

Groupings/Social Distancing
a. No more than ten (10) student-athletes may be grouped together in a single area and the groups should be predetermined by the coach prior to the start of the workout.
b. Social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall be maintained between student-athletes and staff at all times,
including within the ten (10) student-athlete groupings.
c. Once student groupings are determined, student-athletes may not switch to another grouping, even for another
sport.
d. More than one group of student-athletes can be in a single area, provided there is twelve (12) to eighteen (18)
feet between each group of student-athletes.
e. Groupings must stay together throughout the entirety of PHASE 1.
f. There shall not be celebratory contact, e.g., fist bumps, high-fives, huddles, etc.
g. Student-athletes who participate in more than one sport are encouraged to be grouped with their fall sports
teammates.

Sports Equipment
a. Sports equipment shall not be shared at any time during PHASE 1.
b. Each student-athlete shall bring individual water bottles to each workout for his/her own personal
consumption. There shall not be any trading or sharing of water bottles.
c. All sports equipment and touchpoints (e.g., benches, agility cones, ladders, clipboards, etc.) must be cleaned
and disinfected after each workout with EPA approved cleaners and disinfectants against COVID-19.

Locker Rooms/Restrooms
a. Student-athletes shall not have access to locker rooms at any time unless needed for restroom access.
b. Restrooms shall be cleaned and disinfected regularly with EPA approved cleaners and disinfectants against
COVID-19.
c. Restrooms use shall be limited to one person at a time.
d. To the fullest extent possible, appropriate social distancing shall be maintained, and face coverings are worn
when more than one student-athlete is in the restroom.

Hygiene
a. Students and staff should make every effort to wash their hands as often as possible including before and after
the workout.
b. Hand sanitizer shall be accessible at all times.
c. Student-athletes shall wear their workout gear to the workout and shall return home in the same workout gear.
d. There shall be no spitting, chewing seeds or gum during the workout.

Click HERE to see the full NJSIAA guidelines including frequently asked questions and more information from the medical task force