Student-athletes hope for shortened season


Photo Credit: Joel Destaso

The 2019 baseball team poses for a picture after their last game. Little did the returning athletes know that their 2020 season would be in jeopardy.

If New Jersey is lucky enough to get the slightest of a spring-sports season, there would be new complications to come along with it. 

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA)  has stated that their main goal for this spring sports season is to get any form of a season for spring athletes. For this to occur, the state will need to rule that it is safe enough to go back to school.

Multiple formats for the season have been considered if students-athletes are able to return to sports. However, the NJSIAA has stated that the season must end no later than June 30, approximately a week after the last week of school.

The June 30th date was put in place to avoid summer scheduling issues for athletic directors. Club sports, vacation, and other commitments can make school sports difficult to take place during the summer. 

Since it is certain that it is not possible for teams to have time to play their regular-season schedule and participate in their respective county and state sectional tournaments, a modified playoff format would be necessary.

If the season is lucky enough to start before May 25th, then the NJSIAA will allow the state sectional tournament to occur, but it is probable that this would be a modified version of the tournament.  

If the season is to start after the proposed date, games can still occur but with nothing to play for. At this point, high school coaches and athletes will take anything they can get if it means getting some form of a season in. 

The NJSIAA will have to follow state health protocol, which could give high school sports a different look than usual. The possibility of having no fans in attendance, masks, or other restrictions is not out of the question.