Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order Monday allowing the immediate resumption of indoor athletic practices and competitions considered medium or high risk.

The order includes hockey, basketball, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo and wrestling.

Restrictions had been lifted on outdoor sports and low-risk practices and competitions in indoor settings, and non-contact indoor practices for medium and high-risk sports.

"After consulting stakeholders and medical experts, we have concluded that, with proper public health and safety protocols in place, indoor sports may now resume in a way that protects players, coaches, and staff," Murphy said in a statement.

Capacity will be limited at indoor facilities and safety protocols outlined in the Department of Health’s Guidance for Sports Activities will be in effect.

According to the order:

  • Indoor practices and competitions are limited to 25% of the capacity of the room, or at least 10 people.
  • If the number of people who are necessary for practice or competition, such as players, coaches and referees, exceeds 25, the practice or competition may proceed if no unnecessary people such as spectators are present.
  • Even if this exception applies, the number of individuals at the practice or competition cannot exceed 25% of the capacity of the room, and such limit cannot exceed 150 persons.

State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco, R-Morris, who had called for the resumption of ice hockey, thanked the governor.

"The science was there to support the playing of games with appropriate precautions that will not change the way the sport is played," Bucco said.

He also called it "one more step toward the responsible return to normalcy that our society so desperately craves.”

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