New Jersey Delaying Start of Fall Sports; Fall H.S. Swim Seasons Around Country Could Feel Impact

Fall Sports

This week, dominoes started to tumble on the college sports scene, with the Ivy League announcing its fall sports were being canceled. Whether they will be brought back in the spring will be determined at a later point in time. The Big Ten Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference also made decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the decisions did not specifically affect swimming, the fact that conferences are postponing seasons or rearranging fall schedules indicates that if COVID-19 is not neutralized, winter sports will also be affected. In the fall, it is quite possible that practices will be canceled, with meets to follow as the winter months arrive.

On Friday, high school sports for the 2020-21 school year officially started to be affected, too, as the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced that it was postponing the start of its fall sports. Rather than have its seasons begin in early September, fall sports competition will now start in late September and early October. Seasons will feature fewer games than originally scheduled, with postseason competitions also abbreviated.

The decision to postpone the start of seasons by the NJSIAA could have a ripple effect in other states and have an impact on swimming. Several states around the country, such as Florida, Arizona, Michigan (girls) and Illinois (girls), conduct their swim seasons during the fall. If their high school athletics organizations opt for an approach similar to the one made by New Jersey, their scholastic seasons run the risk of being shortened or eliminated.

The COVID-19 pandemic already played havoc with the high school swimming season during the 2019-20 school year as Pennsylvania’s Class AAA state meet was stopped midway through, with the Class AA meet not held at all. Meanwhile, the California season was entirely canceled. The extent COVID-19 will have an impact on the next school year’s campaign remains to be seen, but New Jersey’s decision marked the first move.

5 comments

  1. Heidi Ho

    Laurie Ann O’Shea Brian O’Shea

  2. avatar
    Anonymous

    SC HS swim is a fall sport as well.

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