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The first phase of the return to practice for high-school sports programs in New Jersey begins on Monday and the NJSIAA has now made it more clear what will follow Phase 1.

According to the set of guidelines sent by the NJSIAA to state athletic directors on Friday, Phase 2 of the return to summer practice will include relaxed rules pertaining to workouts, contact and distancing and can begin two weeks after a given team begins Phase 1.

The most noteworthy changes from Phase 1 to Phase 2 are the permission of indoor workouts, the expansion of pods and the permission to fully use equipment in most sports.

The one listed exception to expanded equipment use is that helmets and shoulder pads are still not permitted in Phase 2.

The maximum length of workouts has been extended from 90 to 120 minutes, with a required 10 minutes for warm-ups at the beginning of practice and cool-down at the end. All pre-practice screening requirements from Phase 1 will remain for the duration of Phase 2.

Teams will still be required to rest once per seven days and the NJSIAA also specified that teams must practice a minimum if twice per seven days in order to meet the requirement of clearing Phase 2.

The NJSIAA also introduced weightroom guidelines as part of Phase 2, with an emphasis on body-weight training and a limited amount of maximum lifts.

Phase 1 will limit athletes to work in pods of no more than 10 and in Phase 2, the size of the pod will be permitted to increase to 25-30 athletes. Pods can also work in the same area as long as a distance of at least 12 feet separates one pod from another.

Athletes will be required to stay in the same pod for the duration of Phase 2 and will still have to remain six feet apart within the pod.

Indoor practices, while permitted, will require more strict social distancing during Phase 2. The number of pods permitted will depend on how much space there is to maintain six feet of social distancing. Weight room pods will be limited to 10.

Phase 1 allowed limited passing of balls between players and will be fully allowed in Phase 2, as long as it is within a pod. All other equipment - with the exception of helmets and shoulder pads - may be used as long as they are not being shared.

Teams that start Phase 1 on Monday will be able to move on to Phase 2 on July 27. Teams will have to complete the full 14 days of Phase 1 before moving on to Phase 2, regardless of when they begin the first day of Phase 1.

All provisions from Phase 1 pertaining to face-coverings, hygiene, locker room use and forms will stay the same during Phase 2.

Below are the details for the new guidelines pertaining to workouts, pods and equipment. You can read the Phase 1 details here.

 

Workouts

  1. Phase 2 allows for increased team activities as it pertains to skills and drills development and permits schools to use indoor facilities if approved by the school district.
  1. Workouts shall be no more than 120 minutes in duration and shall include a 10-minute warm-up, and a 10-minute cool down.
  1. Phase 2 will last two weeks form the date of the first workout.
  2. Only one workout per day is permitted during Phase 2
  3. There must be a minimum of two practices for every seven days, totaling four practices
  4. The maximum number of practices is six for every seven days totaling 12 practices
  5. There must be one day of rest per every seven days.
  6. For indoor workouts, care should be taken to provide good air circulation.
  7. Weight Room Guidelines
    a. Resistance training should be limited to body weight, sub-maximal lifts and use of resistance bands.
    b. Maximum lifts should be limited, and power cages should be used for squats and bench presses.
    c. If six feet away, spotters may be at end of each bar.
    d. Weight room touch points must be cleaned both before and after use by teams and specific equipment cleaned after each athlete use.
    e. Appropriate clothing should be worn in the weight room to minimize sweat transmission to surfaces.
    f. Any exposed foam or porous surfaces should be adequately covered.

 

 

Pods

  1. The pods from Phase 1 can be combined into a pod of 25-30 student-athletes.
  2. All movements must be tracked to ensure all student-athletes in a given pod are in the same Phase
  3. For outdoor workouts:
    a. More than one pod of student-athletes can be in a single area, provided there is 12 to 18 feet between each pod.
  1. For indoor workouts:
    a. The total number of pods permitted will be determined by the size of the area and by calculating the maximum number of student-athletes and coaches that can maintain six feet of social distancing at all times.
  1. For indoor workouts in the weight room:
    a. The maximum number of student-athletes in a weight-training pod is 10.
    b. The total number of pods permitted will be determined by the size of the area and by calculating the maximum number of student-athletes and coaches that can maintain six feet of social distancing at all times.
  1. Pods must stay together throughout the entirety of Phase 2.
  2. Consider using marks on the floor to maintain social distancing for all indoor workouts.
  3. Social distancing of at least six feet shall be maintained between student-athletes and staff at all times, including within the pods.

 

Sports Equipment

  1. Balls may be used throughout Phase 2 as part of the workouts.
  2. Balls can be dribbled, passed, caught, thrown, punted, handed off etc. within their pods only.
  3. All other equipment, like sticks, rackets, bats, etc. may be used if they are the student-athletes personal equipment and should not be shared.
  4. During Phase 2, no helmets or shoulder pads are permitted.