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Can organized sports practices resume?

Last Updated: 07/08/2020

Organized Sports

Organized sports activities have restarted in stages.

Low-risk, non-contact sports, such as golf and tennis, can resume practices and competitions, indoors and outdoors.

Medium-risk sports, such as baseball, softball, soccer, and basketball, can resume no-contact practices and drills, indoors and outdoors. Contact practices and competitions can resume in outdoor settings only.

High-risk sports, such as football, can resume no-contact practices and drills, indoors and outdoors. Contact practices and competitions remain prohibited.

The Department of Health has issued guidance for organized sports with further details on which sports are defined in which category, how to create a sports program preparation plan, how to prepare a facility for sports practices, how to conduct sports practices, and how to prepare for games and tournaments.

All sports will have to abide by a number of health and safety protocols in the guidance, including screenings for athletes, coaches, and staff, limited equipment sharing, and strong requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing equipment.

Staff, parents, guardians, and visitors are required to wear cloth face coverings at practices and games. Athletes are encouraged to wear masks during downtime, but not during physical activity.

Sports under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) must abide by those associations' rules.

All competitions or tournaments must abide by the limit on outdoor gatherings, which is currently limited to 500 people.

Source: Executive Order No. 149, Guidance for Sports Activities; Executive Order No. 161; Executive Order No. 163