The NJSIAA released a three-minute video on Friday that falls in line with its efforts to regionalize schedules to minimize potential transmission of COVID-19.
In the video, Maguire tells student-athletes to “wash your hands, wear a mask and watch your distance,” noting they should keep their masks on while on the sidelines — and refrain from high-fives and other celebrations that involve physical contact.
Fall sports teams were able to begin heat acclimatization on Friday. Official practice is scheduled to begin Monday, about a month later than normal.
Games can start Sept. 28 for girls tennis and Oct. 1 for soccer, cross-country and field hockey. Football games begin Oct. 2.
Concerns about indoor events caused the NJSIAA to postpone gymnastics and girls volleyball to a new season, which begins practice in February and events in March.
“There are some who question whether this season can be a success,” Maguire said in the video. “While only time will tell, I completely believe in the power of positive peer pressure and the desire you all have to not let your coaches or your teammates down. I am confident you all are going to rise to this occasion.”
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Youth and club teams, which were able to return to the field on June 22, operate under a different set of guidelines than those put forth by the NJSIAA.
The Last Dance World Series, a statewide tournament for high school-aged baseball players, was conducted under an independent organization’s rules. Though four teams had to withdraw due to COVID-19 contact-tracing concerns, it has been held up by Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, D-Passaic, who is also Hackensack’s football coach, as a standard for the upcoming high school season.
Maguire pointed out that the NCAA has shut down in-person recruiting, and video from high school events could also be used for this purpose.
“Common sense tells you to stay local, stay within your communities,” Maguire said Thursday. “You know the health within your area. New Jersey, while we’re not terribly big, we’re dense. You shouldn’t have to travel very far in any part of the state to get quality competition in any sport.”
Jane Havsy is a sports reporter for DailyRecord.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis, subscribe today. Email: JHavsy@gannettnj.com Twitter: @dailyrecordspts