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High school athletic association adds COVID-19 sports task force

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has established the COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task Force, a group of athletic directors from across the state who will consider sport-specific proposals and recommendations with a focus on implementing, executing and enforcing potential modifications.

The May 28 announcement follows by one week the NJSIAA’s formation of its COVID-19 Medical Advisory Task Force, which will identify and implement general and sport-specific modifications, according to a press release.

These two task forces will work independently, but communicate regularly and provide ongoing counsel to each other, according to the press release.

Both panels 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 Dave Frazier, the Rutherford High School athletic director and a former NJSIAA president.

The task force 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, the Clifton High School athletic director, will serve as the NJSIAA Executive Committee liaison, and Colleen Maguire, the NJSIAA’s 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 said. “But we also clearly understand the significant challenges ahead. I’m confident we will make tremendous progress, and optimistic we will 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 members schools and the concerns of our student-athletes,” Mullahey added.

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