Byline: Lindsey Kelleher
Spring sports through the Recreation Department will be played this year but with some changes.
All sports and activities will take place outdoors, according to Cedar Grove Recreation Director Marisa Landolfi-Jefferson. This includes programs that are normally held indoors such as yoga, volleyball, and theater and dance classes, Landolfi-Jefferson said.
The spring sports season for the Cedar Grove Recreation Department and other recreation departments throughout New Jersey is back on this year after it was completely shuttered in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had no spring programs in 2020 due to the uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic, so being able to run anything, event at a modified degree, is better than nothing,” Landolfi-Jefferson said. “If circumstances change at any point and orders relax and open up a bit more, we will revisit our programming as well.”
Fall and winter recreation sports in 2020 and into 2021 for these departments were played, but with limitations under state guidelines. Fall volleyball for girls was played outside for the Cedar Grove teams and their rivals.
Players on the soccer teams were required to wear face coverings when they were on the sidelines and parents were required to also wear face-coverings and to stay six feet apart from each other. The town’s Recreation Department held a clinic program even though meets were canceled.
This past winter, the town’s Suburban League canceled its basketball and wrestling seasons because most towns did not have permission to use indoor facilities, according to Landolfi-Jefferson.
The changes are required by state law due to the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered the spring sports season for recreation teams and collegiate teams in Cedar Grove and other towns throughout the state last year.
The spring season is scheduled to begin in March or April, depending on the sport with the maximum number of participants and regulations under New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s guidelines. An example of a state-mandated guideline is quarantining from recreation activities as well as school activities.
“As educators and recreation professionals, we look to continue to partner in both the areas of athletics and health and safety of our youth, while promoting the assurance of health education and the responsibility that we each hold to the youth of our community,” Landolfi-Jefferson and Cedar Grove Superintendent of Schools Anthony Grosso said in a letter to parents and students about quarantining during the pandemic.
The letter may be found on the township’s website for recreation activities, https://cedargrovenj.org/departments/recreation/spring-programs/.
More information about spring recreation sports schedules and guidelines may also be found on that website.