TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed an executive order allowing the resumption of contact practices and competitions in indoor settings for organized sports defined as medium-risk and high-risk by the New Jersey Department of Health’s Guidance for Sports Activities.
The order encompasses sports including hockey, basketball, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo and wrestling, according to information released by the Governor's Office.
Murphy previously signed executive orders that permitted the resumption of outdoor sports activities, low-risk practices and competitions in indoor settings, and noncontact indoor practices for medium-risk and high-risk sports.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for our student-athletes, support staff and school communities,” Murphy said in a statement. “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.”
All indoor practices and competitions are limited to 25% of the capacity of the room, but not more than 25 or less than 10 people, Murphy said.
However, 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 individuals, such as spectators, are present, Murphy said.
Even if this exception applies, the number of individuals at the practice or competition cannot exceed 25% of the capacity of the room, or 150 people, Murphy said.
Facilities and participants must abide by a number of health and safety protocols outlined in the Department of Health’s Guidance for Sports Activities, such as screenings for athletes, coaches and staff; limitations on equipment sharing; and requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces and equipment, Murphy said.
Additionally, sports under the oversight of either the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association or the NCAA must continue to abide by those associations' rules, Murphy said.
All sporting activities must comply with all applicable laws, regulations and executive orders, Murphy said.
The order is effective immediately.
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