Photo By Ken Cook

2020 NJ High School Football Season Begins With Positivity Amidst Covid-19 Concerns

Football in NJ is back! Players, coaches, and fans have been longing for the “go ahead” all summer while the Covid-19 Pandemic have left many concerned on the future of the sports world. On July 20 Governor Phil Murphy had announced outdoor contact sports such as Football and Rugby could continue.

The teams began practicing with a few new twists such as team pods that allowed players to remain socially distant and only train with those in their pods. Another safety measures was the use of masks. Those who were resting or taking a break would be wearing a facial covering while coaches would wear throughout the practice.

After a few months of training under these new conditions the schools are ready to play! In order to keep in accordance with NJ’s outdoor safety ordinances the teams have added new rules that will give fans and family the ability to watch and enjoy games but also keep the safety of all in good standings.

Live Streaming: With the boom of Zoom conferencing, Live Streaming has exploded within the NJ sports world. Only 500 people can be at outdoor gathering which constricts the amount of fans that can attend. Live Streaming eliminates the worry of missing the big game. The NJSIAA has partnered with NFHS to provide streaming of games throughout the season. This will allow anyone to cheer on and support their favorite sports team or even toggle between games instead of driving from one to another, potentially missing some of the best action.

Wrist Bracelets: 500 people is the limit currently and that leaves those who want to watch the game in person in a sticky situation. Schools have developed a wristband system that will be given out prior to the game that ensures you will be able to watch the game without worrying if the stadium is already at capacity. If you want to find out who will be getting access please reach out to your school for more information.

In addition the NJSIAA released a press statement on September 16, 2020 explaining more information on the conference and league changes.

Participation in Football Post-Season Groupings will be open to any school wishing to participate.

The state’s various football leagues and conferences will take the lead in grouping their member schools into pools that will participate in a two-game series.

These groupings will take into consideration each school’s enrollment and geography, while striving for competitive balance.

NJSIAA will solicit intent cards from all schools and will distribute a summary to each league and conference as soon as possible following the November 2, 2020 deadline. Specifically, these intent cards indicate whether a school wishes to be included in Football Post-Season Groupings.

NJSIAA will facilitate coordination between leagues and conferences whenever such coordination is necessary to complete groupings.

NJSIAA will host a seeding committee meeting of representatives from all five leagues and conferences. The seeding committee will meet the weekend of November 7; this meeting will be closed to the press. All post-season groupings will be announced by NJSIAA on Sunday, November 8. NJSIAA will schedule and assign all games for Week 7 and Week 8.NJSIAA will not provide awards or trophies during the post-season.

We are exciting for this season and ready to watch the teams take on each other as they battle to the be the “best of the best” in NJ.

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