On Dec. 11, the NJSIAA announced the start and end dates for spring sports. With the exception of golf and boys tennis, teams will be allowed to begin practice on April 1, and can have their first competition on April 19. Boys tennis practices can begin on March 26 and can compete on April 19. Golf practices can begin on April 1, and competitions can begin on April 9.
Virtual contact can begin for all spring sports on March 1 and all competitions will end by June 20. For baseball, boys volleyball, lacrosse, track & field and softball, state tournaments will be held from June 1 to June 20. Sport-specific committees have yet to announce tournament dates for golf and boys tennis.
The start dates for spring sports were pushed back in accordance with the delay of the winter season, in order to minimize the overlap between winter and spring sports. This year, swimming and winter track will end by March 27, while wrestling, girls volleyball and gymnastics will end by April 24. All other winter sports will end by March 6.
Governor Murphy’s executive order No. 204 barred any indoor practices or competitions for winter sports through Jan. 2. This forced winter sports to be pushed back, causing the overlap between winter and spring sports. Even with the overlap, the NJSIAA wanted to make sure that multisport athletes were given the best opportunity to compete in each season. The NJSIAA’s chief operating officer Colleen Maguire said, “Multi-sport athletes should be celebrated, and not made to choose between two sports that they love.”
However, not all athletes are content with the new spring sports schedule. Senior hockey and lacrosse player Jack Sumas said, “I think it’s a good idea to push back the start of spring sports. But I think it should be pushed back even further to avoid overlap with winter sports to help out winter and spring athletes.”
Even with the new schedule, to compete this spring is relieving news for spring sport athletes, especially after the cancelation of last year’s season. Junior softball player Emily Gordon said, “With all of the challenges and changes surrounding last season and this season, I am very thankful that any season is being planned for this year.”