PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
November 11, 2020

Judith M. Persichilli

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Department of Health Releases Updated Guidance on Indoor Sports

Establishes Requirements for Enforcement of Masking and Social Distancing; Directs Compliance with Contact Tracing Efforts 

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Health today released updated guidance on indoor sports activities in conjunction with an Executive Order signed by Governor Murphy prohibiting interstate indoor K-12, club and league youth sports competitions.   

Executive Order No. 194 signed by Governor Murphy on Tuesday, takes effect as of 5 a.m. Thursday.   

Practices, inter-team games, scrimmages, and tournaments, both contact and non-contact, are permitted for Low, Medium and High Risk Sports in indoor and outdoor settings for in-state teams. Under Executive Order No. 194 and the updated guidance, indoor interstate youth sports competitions – including those operated by school-based, club and recreational programs — are suspended in New Jersey as of Thursday.  The suspension applies to sports across all risk levels.   

In addition to including the prohibition, the updated guidance also requires those engaging in sports activities to cooperate with local health departments on contact tracing, and requires coaching staff to enforce social distancing and masking.  Athletes, coaches, parents and others who test positive for COVID-19 and/or were told to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure must follow instructions from the local public health department, according to the guidance.   

“We know the risk of COVID-19 infections is already higher in indoor settings. With COVID-19 cases growing in New Jersey and throughout the country, we must work to minimize the spread of the virus here as much as possible,” said N.J. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “In addition, contact tracing is a primary tool in our efforts to combat the virus, and it is incumbent on all New Jerseyans to answer the call and share their contacts to help protect their families, friends and communities.”   

“Indoor interstate youth sports competition” includes any sports game, scrimmage, tournament, or similar competition conducted indoors with opposing teams or individuals from different states and which would require an opposing team or individual to travel from a state outside of New Jersey.   

The updated guidance also stipulates that coaching staff must ensure that athletes remain 6 feet apart when not engaged in sports activities, such as when they are seated on the bench or on the sidelines. Masking and social distancing requirements also apply to spectators.   

Collegiate and professional sports are not affected.   

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook  /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.   

Last Reviewed: 11/11/2020