Tag: high school basketball

SPONSORED: Fundraising University helps HS sports teams adapt to COVID, and still raise money

It’s not easy to ask for money in this day and age, with COVID leaving people out of work and hurting them economically.

But high school sports teams are still playing, and their costs have gone up. That makes fundraising more important than ever.

That’s where Fundraising University comes in. Click here to learn more!

Their goal is to help sports teams raise the most amount of money in the least amount of time. It could be cookie dough, popcorn, or local discount cards for your favorite restaurants around town.

Whatever it is, John Tuohy, the New Jersey representative for Fundraising University is the man to call.

And now is the perfect time to set up a fundraiser for the Spring, or even football or any other Fall sport. It’s never too early.

Plus, Fundraising University now has a special for Central Jersey Sports Radio listeners! Mention you heard about Fundraising University here, and they will give you an extra $100 incentive for your best fundraising student-athlete, on top of their other, typical incentives.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and John Tuohy talk about how Fundraising University can help your school raise the most amount of money in the least amount of time!

Reach John Tuohy of Fundraising University at 732-772-3354. You can also find them online by clicking here. Fundraising University also can be found on Twitter.

AUDIO: Governor Murphy announces an Executive Order to allow limited fans at indoor high school sporting events

This story will be updated if Governor Phil Murphy makes additional comments at today’s press conference. Please check back here for updates.

During his regularly scheduled Friday COVID press conference, Governor Murphy announced he will sign an executive order today allowing limited numbers of fans to attend high school sporting events.

Murphy said fans will be limited to two parents or guardians per student-athlete under the age of 21, as long as capacity limits of 150 people or 35 percent of the room’s capacity – whichever is smaller – are not exceeded.

No other spectators will be allowed to attend.

The St. Joseph-Metuchen “Falcon Flock,” the student section that’s often raucous at St. Joe’s basketball games, has been noticeably absent this year due to COVID regulations banning all fans from games. They still won’t be allowed at games this year, but up to 2 parents or guardians per student athlete will be allowed in high school gyms for the rest of the season. (Source: St. Joe’s website)

“I know many parents, especially those of our senior athletes, have been anxious to get back into the stands to cheer on their student-athletes, in what may, for many, be their final season of competition,” said Murphy.

The Governor said the decision was made as “the metrics in our hospitals and elsewhere continue to trend more positive for us.”

“This is something I have been wanting to do for our student athletes and their biggest fans,” Murphy added.

For the limit to be smaller than 150 people, the full capacity of a gym would have to be about 430 people.

Few gyms, if any, in Central Jersey would fall under that category. Edison, for example, has a capacity of 900, including a handful of rows on each baseline. Taking those out, capacity would be 650, still enough to allow up to 150 people.

The NJSIAA responded to the changes with a statement released on Twitter.

“NJSIAA welcomes the Governor’s executive order, which provides an opportunity for limited spectators to attend high school sporting events. We hope this order marks another positive step in the return to play. At the same time, we urge parents to give our member schools time to review the Governor’s order and determine both overall feasibility and a specific process for increasing capacity as outlined.”

Murphy stressed that all New Jersey Department of Health guidelines would remain in effect. Fans will have to social distance – unless in the same family – and wear masks at games. Murphy added that if a positive case arises, all those in attendance would have to assist with contact tracing.

Murphy said while this could allow fans at games as soon as this weekend, local school districts would have the authority to decide when fans could begin coming to games, whether to have a smaller limit, or whether to even allow fans at all.

Click below to hear Murphy’s comments today on allowing fans back at indoor high school sporting events in New Jersey:

OPINION: Why now is the right time to allow limited fans at H.S. basketball games

The news broke on NJ.com shortly after flip-off (no tip-offs!) of our high school basketball game last night between No. 6 Colonia and Edison. The Eagles had finished their Senior Night activities, but no parents were anywhere to be found.

In fact, the game was delayed a bit so that the masked parents – who didn’t even bother to take off their coats, that’s how quick they were in and out of the gym – could get home in time to watch and listen to the live stream of the game.

NJ.com reported that Governor Murphy could announce today that limited fans – possibly with an emphasis or priority on parents of seniors – would be allowed at high school basketball games in New Jersey.

The news was not a complete surprise. The day before the regular season started on January 25th, Murphy hinted that he was leaning in that direction “soon,” though didn’t commit to a policy or timetable.

Fans have been missing from high school basketball games across New Jersey, but a few two-dimensional ones – even a couple furry family members – were present at last night’s girls’ basketball home game against Edison.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will be on the Governor’s virtual COVID briefing today to hear the news, if indeed it does get announced today. (Murphy is holding the call virtually after he went into self-quarantine earlier this week following a positive COVID test by one of his family members; the Governor himself has tested negative.)

I say, it’s about time. And the Governor probably has seen enough feedback from the last few weeks to realize it’s possible.

What also helps is that the people involved in this decision-making/feedback process are parents. The Governor has kids who play high school sports, as does NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire. And the Murphy has sat at the dais during COVID with Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, who is also the head football coach at Hackensack.

Here are three people so closely connected to high school sports, that they get it. They are not handing down rules from some ivory tower,

But are they too close? Are they blinded by the emotion of wanting to see their kids play in person so much that they ignore the science?

Not by a long shot.

What the Governor likely will propose is some sort of highly limited capacity. He’s also talked about prioritizing senior parents. But think about it: high school teams are capped at 14 varsity players.

Let’s say parents are only allowed at home games. Assuming every parent could make every game, that’s a maximum 28 parents. But there are single parents, some who work, and some who have other things going on. So we’re probably talking 14 to 28 extra people in a gym.

Most high school gyms can fit at least a couple hundred fans. Many are larger. I’ve heard the question “Who is going to monitor this? How will we make sure they wear masks?”

It’s certainly easier than it was during football season, where stadiums are much larger and much more spread out.

And the timing – I mean, it could be better – but it’s not bad.

The numbers are coming down in New Jersey. They’re better here than in a lot of states.

They’re far from good, of course. And while we still need to take precautions – wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands often – there’s no reason people acting reasonably can”t come into a high school gym.

Take a look around: New York City sports arenas will be opening to very small capacities in just over a week. Of course, fans will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours, but we’re also talking about 2,000 fans, who likely will have a beer (or two or three) and might be acting rowdy. That won’t be the case with 20 or so high school parents.

I’ve been at four high school basketball games since the start of the season. It was sad to see Edison parents show up for Senior Night, be honored, then have to leave to go home to watch their sons play on YouTube because they’re not allowed in the gym.

But the main thing is this: only three weeks remain in Season 2, for high school basketball. Three weeks, and only very limited opportunities for parents to see their sons and daughters – especially their senior sons and daughters – take the court.

Time is running out faster than we can get a wrap around COVID-19.

The mantra from student-athletes and parents for months had been “Let ‘Em Play.”

Now, I say, “Let ‘Em Watch.” Just maybe not all of them at the same time.

Rivals Dunellen and Middlesex square off tonight at Faber school

Editor’s Note: While Central Jersey Sports Radio unfortunately is unable to broadcast tonight’s game (see our Broadcast Schedule for recent changes and the current slate) we offer this preview of the Blue Jays and Destroyers.

Coming off a better than .500 season for the first time under 7th-year head coach Jared Goldstein – where they were also the third-highest scoring team in the league behind St. Thomas Aquinas and Carteret – Middlesex come into 2021 looking to build. At 2-2, they have a win over division foe Spotswood, and 0-4 Woodbridge, a step up to the GMC White Division.

With neighboring rival Dunellen coming off a 25-5 season and moving up from the GMC Gold to the Blue Jays’ Blue Division this season, Middlesex has its sights set on tonight’s game against the Destroyers at the Faber School. (The game begins at 6 pm and you can watch the game’s livestream by clicking here.)

But Dunellen has this game circled, too. At 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the division – a half-game ahead of South Plainfield (2-1 in the Blue), the win is a chance for the Destroyers to prove they belong at the next level.

Dunellen has won two straight in the series (49-38 in 2019 and 77-47 in 2018, both in holiday tournaments in December) but Middlesex leads 7-3 since the start of Goldstein’s tenure with the Blue Jays, and 6-2 since Horowitz took over the Destroyers.

Middlesex’s last win came on January 22, 2018, a 62-56 win at Faber School.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s conversations with Middlesex Head Coach Jared Goldstein and Dunellen Head Coach Howie Horowitz.

Middlesex head coach Jared Goldstein
Dunellen head coach Howie Horowitz

HS basketball will look very different in 2020: here are the new rules and recommendations

“Join us for tip-off time at … wait a sec, make that, join us for the coin-toss at 7 pm.”

Coin toss?


It’ll take some getting used to for 2020, but high school basketball in the era of COVID-19 won’t include an opening tip off.

Instead, there will be a coin toss.

It’s part of myriad rules changes by the National Federation of State High School Associations – also known as NFHS – whose regulations the NJSIAA follows. They are aimed at protecting officials, many of whom are older and may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, and having more serious health complications.

Jack Baum, Skyland Conference Assignor of Officials – who also assigns referees for the state tournament and Tournament of Champions – was involved in helping the NJSIAA outline the changes for referees, coaches and student-athletes.

Click below to listen to Jack Baum give a thorough explanation on the NFHS changes, and how they will affect high school basketball in New Jersey this season:

Specifically, rule modification 6-2-2 – “Elimination of the Jump Ball Procedure” – stipulates that the jump ball to start a game will be eliminated, and that “Choice of first possession of the ball [goes] to the team winning a coin toss, called by the visiting team.”

From there, standard rules apply regarding the alternating possession arrow. So, if Team A wins the toss and elects to start with the ball, the arrow would go to Team B once the throw-in takes place, much like the typical held ball situation.

Overtime periods would begin with the team that has possession based on the arrow inbounding the ball.

Click here for the complete NJSIAA document regarding COVID-19 related rule and procedure changes for 2021 high school basketball.

The other major change is that officials are “not required to touch (or handle) the ball prior to a throw-in or free throw,” according to a modification of rule 2.7.2.

Inotherwords, when a foul occurs, instead of the ball being handed to the official by whatever player has it, the players on the team that was fouled would retrieve the ball, and give it directly to to the player who is awarded foul shots, or the player chosen to inbound the ball.

Typically, the ball is “at the disposal” of the player when they get it from the referee. But, in this case – either at the foul line or on an inbound – the player may have the ball, but the official will present the “stop clock” signal – their hand extended with an open palm – followed by “one short blast of the whistle.” This would signal play can begin, and the official would begin the appropriate count: five seconds for either a free-throw or inbound. Officials also may use verbal cues.

Of note is the fact that it is “not required,” that officials touch the ball during the game, but they would be permitted to if they wanted to. Both Baum and Tony Maselli – NJSIAA Assistant Director in charge of officials – confirmed to Central Jersey Sports Radio that this is the case; it’s up to the discretion of the officials.

The situation is similar for an out-of-bounds play or a time out. If the ball goes out of bounds off Team A, then Team B should retrieve the ball and prepare for an inbound play. The same goes for the inbounding the ball at the start of a quarter; the team responsible for inbounding should retrieve the ball and place it at the spot for the inbound.

Similarly, for time outs, if Team A has the ball, and calls time out, Team A should place the ball at the spot to inbound, then return to its bench area.

Other changes include:

  • Only one player has to report to the “X” at the scorer’s table for a substitution
  • Benches may be located on opposite sidelines, and in those cases should be diagonally across from each other.
  • Teams across the court from the scorer’s table would also have a substitution “X” on their side of the floor, and game officials would be required to visually scan for subs before resuming play.
  • Referees can verbally and visually confirm rosters and starters with the scorekeeper, but “will not touch books, pens/pencils, or be required to sign the scorer’s book.”
  • Pre-game conferences with teams will be limited to one official, the head coaches, and one captain from each team, during which the coin toss will be held. There will be no handshakes before or after.
  • Coaches and students on the bench or sidelines must wear face coverings. There are exceptions for health reasons, extreme heat, or “high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities,” which would include those playing in the game and referees.
  • Neck gaiters are allowed, but not recommended for indoors. Colors need not necessarily match uniform colors, according to Baum.

Click below for a full presentation on the rules changes and rule interpretations shared with NJSIAA officials for the 2021 basketball season:

“Like a kid in a candy store,” HS coaches and players welcome start of practice

by Mike Pavlichko

Only a handful of high school basketball teams around the state – including the Franklin and Bound Brook girls – were still alive in the state playoffs when COVID-19 brought their seasons to a screeching, unprecedented halt.

But last week, teams across New Jersey got back on the practice court for the first time since mid-March. It was nearly 10 months since they last could step on a court together, coaches and their student-athletes.

Central Jersey Sports Radio spoke to several area coaches – Franklin’s Audrey Taylor, Rutgers Prep’s Mary Coyle-Klinger, Bound Brook’s Jenn Derevjanik and Anthony Melesurgo, and North Brunswick’s Ed Breheney and Mark Zielinski – to get their take on how their seasons ended, how they stayed connected with their teams for nearly a year, and how they felt getting back to basketball, albeit in the era of COVID.

Click below to listen to the full story:

Central Jersey Sports Radio unveils inaugural H.S. Basketball Broadcast Schedule

High school basketball is right around the corner (see the countdown timer on the right of this page!) and Central Jersey Sports Radio plans a big season of hoops play-by-play.

The schedule includes 13 regular season games in both the Greater Middlesex and Skyland Conferences. And for the first time, girls’ basketball in both leagues will have a play-by-play home.

Click here for the full 2021 High School Basketball Schedule on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Five of the 13 games on the schedule are girls’ matchups, including some of the top teams in the area: St. Thomas Aquinas, Bound Brook, Franklin, Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s.

Franklin celebrates its North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 championship in 2020, their final game before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down high school sports last March.

The schedule also includes a pair of marquee affairs in a Saturday boys/girls day-night doubleheader on February 20th: Franklin at Rutgers Prep girls at noon, and The Patrick School at St. Thomas Aquinas at 7 pm.

Top boys’ teams on the schedule include St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Joseph-Metuchen, Bound Brook, and Colonia.

Monroe visits St. Joseph-Metuchen on Tuesday, February 26th at 7 pm (air time at 6:50) in the season opener on the first day of competition for high school basketball according to the NJSIAA’s schedule for winter sports in Season 2.