With Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall off the table as the option for the 2021 NJSIAA Wrestling Championships, the state’s high school governing body has been searching for a site to host this season’s boys and girls state tournament.

On Tuesday, the opening day of the New Jersey high school wrestling season, the venues were announced for the region and state tournaments.

The 2021 NJSIAA Championships will be held at Phillipsburg High School, the NJSIAA announced via a media release. The girls tournament will take place on April 10 and the boys tournament will take place over two days on April 24 and 25.

Additionally, the sites for the “super region” tournaments have been announced and are as follows:

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Boys Regionals, April 17-18

North 1 (Regions 1 and 2) - Mount Olive High School

North 2 (Regions 3 and 4) - Union High School

Central (Regions 5 and 6) – Hunterdon Central High School

South (Regions 7 and 8) – Cherry Hill East High School

The girls region tournaments will take place on April 3 with the North Region competing at Union High School and the South Region competing at Williamstown High School.

“We’re extremely appreciative of our member schools – Union, Williamstown, Mount Olive, Hunterdon Central, Cherry Hill East, and Phillipsburg high schools – who will be opening their doors to help host various segments of this year’s individual state tournament,” said Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA’s COO. “These schools have gone above and beyond to serve the wrestling community and our student-athletes.  They deserve our sincerest thanks.”

“While some locations may have the capacity to accommodate a limited number of parents/guardians, that’s not true of all the sites, therefore, to ensure consistency, the regional events for both boys and girls will be closed to all members of the public, including parents. Only participants, coaches, officials, and necessary tournament staff will be allowed into the schools for the regional events,” said Maguire.  “Coaches have also told us they want to mitigate risk, keep their wrestlers safe and healthy and avoid illness or quarantine. We are optimistic that two parents or guardians for each participant will be able to attend the state finals at Phillipsburg High School.”

On March 1, the NJSIAA announced the plans and structure for the individual state tournament.

According to a report by NJ Advance Media’s Joe Zedalis, Kim Degraw-Cole of the NJSIAA said the agreement to hold the state tournament at Phillipsburg High School is for one year only and the NJSIAA will look to return to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall in 2022.

Atlantic City has been the host of the New Jersey state wrestling tournament since 1992. This season will be the first time it will be held outside of Boardwalk Hall since 2002. The Atlantic City Convention Center hosted the tournament in 1999 and The Meadowlands held the state tournament in 2001 and 2002 while Boardwalk Hall was undergoing renovations, according to NJ Advance Media. The last time a high school hosted the state championships was in 1958 at Somerville High School.

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