NJSIAA creates COVID-19 task force

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has established the COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task Force, a group of athletic directors from across the state who will consider a wide range of sports-specific proposals and recommendations with a focus on implementing, executing and enforcing potential modifications, according to a May 28 statement from NJSIAA. This announcement follows by one week the NJSIAA’s formation of its COVID-19 Medical Advisory Task Force, which will identify and implement both general and sports-specific modifications.

These two task forces will work independently, but communicate regularly and provide ongoing counsel to each other. Both will make recommendations to NJSIAA leadership, which will then work within governmental and National Federation of High School Sport guidelines to manage the safe return of high school sports in New Jersey.

The Sports Advisory Task Force will be chaired by Rutherford High School Athletic Director and former NJSIAA President Dave Frazier. It will also include Denis Nelson, River Dell High School athletic director; Kevin Murphy, Washington Township High School athletic director; Ryan Miller, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School athletic director; Vito Chiaravalloti, Christian Brothers Academy athletic director; Dan Uszaki, Northern Burlington Regional High School athletic director; and Todd Ricker, Parsippany Hills High School athletic director. Tom Mullahey, Clifton High School athletic director, will serve as the NJSIAA Executive Committee liaison, and Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA director of finance and administration, will serve as the NJSIAA liaison. 

“More than anyone else, athletic directors want to see a safe return to high school sports,” Frazier says. “But, we also clearly understand the significant challenges ahead. I’m confident we’ll make tremendous progress, and optimistic that we’ll see kids playing again before too long. But, it’s essential to manage expectations and prepare our students-athletes — as well as those who cheer them on — for the short-term changes that may be necessary.”

“Input from our peers will be essential as we try to navigate the various guidelines, the needs of our member schools and the concerns of our student athletes,” Mullahey said.