No state championships.
A limit of 15 events during the regular season.
An abbreviated, two-week postseason that will end in the middle of February.
Those are the highlights of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s plan for winter sports, announced Tuesday by the organization that oversees high school sports in the state.
The NJSIAA said practice in sports such as basketball, wrestling, and swimming may begin Dec. 3, with the first regular-season competition on Dec. 21.
The regular season for winter sports will run until Feb. 3, with teams limited to 15 events. Teams will be able to compete in two events per week, with two three-game weeks permitted to allow for scheduling complications.
The postseason will run from Feb. 5-17. It will be open to all teams that wish to participate.
The playoffs will be structured regionally based on counties or existing NJSIAA sections. Competition will not advance past the sectional level, eliminating the opportunity for a program such as Camden High basketball to capture a state championship.
The Panthers, who project as one of the top teams in the nation led by sophomore guard D.J. Wagner, ESPN’s No. 1 player in the class of 2023, also will be prohibited, along with every other team, from participating in out-of-state events.
Camden had tentative plans to play against California’s Sierra Canyon — which includes Bronny James, the son of LeBron James — at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., in January, and Philadelphia Catholic League power Archbishop Wood at a showcase event in Warminster in December.
Camden had a 29-1 record during the 2019-20 season and appeared on the brink of winning the program’s first state title since 2000 when the NJSIAA competition was canceled March 12 by the coronavirus outbreak.
Several other teams in other sports also had tentative plans for out-of-state competition. The NJSIAA said such competition will be prohibited, barring a “waiver for exceptional circumstances.”
The event limit will impact basketball players in the quest for 1,000 career points, and wrestlers in pursuit of 100 career victories.
The NJSIAA said teams will be permitted one preseason scrimmage. The guidance also calls for events to be limited to two teams — eliminating basketball showcases and holiday tournaments, wrestling tri-squad and quad meets, and swimming invitational meets.
But the NJSIAA said it will continue to “monitor and advise as to what may or may not be permissible,” and decisions on expanding the scope of events likely would not be made until the start of the season or during the season.