The beginning of high school hockey season in New Jersey has been put on ice until at least January after the suspension of all indoor adult, high school and youth sports.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that the suspension will go into effect on Saturday at 6 a.m. and will last until Jan. 2 due to recent COVID-19 spikes in the state. The suspension does not apply to college and professional sports teams in the area.
“We’re seeing outbreaks related to indoor sports, and this will help slow the spread,” Murphy said in a press briefing.
High school ice hockey season was scheduled to begin practices on Dec. 14 with games beginning on Jan. 14. It remains to be seen if the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) will now extend hockey season beyond its originally scheduled end date of Feb. 17.
“We’re hopeful that, with schedule modifications, the ice hockey season will be viable when the state’s pause is lifted,” the NJSIAA said in a statement shared with USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey, per CentralJersey.com. “The governor has made it clear that he wants high school winter sports to be played, based on the significant mental and physical health benefits they provide and in recognition of the seniors who desire one more season of the sports they love.
“NJSIAA looks forward to working with the Governor and his staff in this regard.”