New dates announced for New Jersey high school ice hockey season
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's Sports Advisory Task Force announced the new start and end dates for the 2021 high school ice hockey season in a letter to member schools on Friday.
The first games of the season can be played starting on Friday, Jan. 15 and the season will now run through Saturday, March 6. The season was originally set to begin on Jan. 4 and run through Feb. 17 before Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 204, which suspended all practices and competition for indoor sports from Dec. 5 through Jan. 3.
The original practice start date of Dec. 14 remains unchanged, but teams will only be permitted to practice outdoors or virtually. Indoor practices can resume on Jan. 3 unless EO 204 is modified either through being lifted or extended. Teams still need six days of practices before their scrimmage or first regular-season game and virtual practices do not count toward that threshold. Teams are allowed one scrimmage.
Any player subject to the NJSIAA's transfer sit period will be eligible on Monday, Feb. 1.
Teams will be limited to three games per week with a maximum of 15 games during the season. Multi-team events and out-of-state competition are prohibited and there will be no NJSIAA sponsored postseason. Leagues and conferences may hold their own tournaments but teams will be restricted to one game per day.
New Jersey is in the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with cases surging over the past few weeks. On Thursday, the state announced 4,913 new positive cases and 64 deaths attributed to the virus, bringing the statewide totals to 350,999 cases and 15,373 deaths since March.