Murphy announces new start dates for winter sports



On Nov. 30, Governor Phil Murphy announced a pause on indoor winter sports before most of them have even begun. This pause will take effect at 6:00 am on Dec. 5 and last through Jan. 2. This is the second time in the past two weeks that the start dates for winter sports have been changed. 

The original plan released on Nov. 19, that Murphy and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association task force put in place, was to have ice hockey start practice on Dec. 14 while moving all other winter sports to start after the new year in different groups. The new plan now moves both boys and girls ice hockey to the start date of Jan. 2; however, there has been no word yet as to when competition is eligible to start.

This decision has received backlash from WHS hockey players. WHS senior boys hockey player Will Fischer said, “Personally I think the decision to push back sports is very naive. I think that pushing back sports will not solve anything because the problem with cases is not coming from sports; it is coming from what people choose to do outside of their sport.” 

WHS senior girls hockey player Mary Beke said, “I’m really sad because this is messing with my senior season which is extremely important to me. I think that the decision was definitely an overreaction.”

Other winter sports’ start dates are more staggered. Basketball, fencing and bowling were all given the green light to start on Jan. 11, with games starting Jan. 26 and the season-ending by Mar. 6. Swimming and winter track and field are allowed to start practicing Feb. 1, with competitions starting Feb. 16 and the season wrapping up on Mar. 27. The final group which includes gymnastics, girls volleyball (both originally fall sports that were pushed to the winter) and wrestling, starts Mar. 1; matches can start Mar. 16 and the season finishes on Apr. 24. 

A final decision on spring sports is scheduled for Dec. 11 and will ultimately decide the start and end dates of all spring sports.