After relaxing its transfer rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association is moving toward making it more difficult to change schools and compete in athletics.
According to NJ Advance Media, a new NJSIAA proposal says that any high school athletes transferring after the opening day of their sport would be barred from participating in the postseason. Prior to the pandemic, the NJSIAA’s policy was that any athletes that transfer more than halfway through the regular season can’t participate in the postseason.
“We’re seeing an increasing trend of the number of transfers on an annual basis,” NJSIAA executive director Colleen Maguire said. “The NJSIAA has been monitoring transfers that occur during the season and finding ways to minimize these transfers. They too have become an increasing trend. It is our opinion that transfers during the regular season can be disruptive to the competitive balance that exists at the start of a season and could potentially displace student-athletes that are in place on a team.”
After passing a first reading last week at the NJSIAA’s May Executive Committee meeting, the proposal will need to pass a second reading in June in order to be adopted into law.
The Executive Committee already adopted a law allowing athletes to transfer back to their pre-pandemic schools without penalty. If students transferred after March 16, 2020, they can transfer back to their original school by Sept. 1, 2021.
Another proposal under consideration would require that if a New Jersey student changes addresses, their transfer must be complete by Sept. 1, 2021 in order to avoid sitting out the first 30 days of the season.
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