Murphy Shuts Down Interstate Indoor Sports, Blames Ice Hockey

TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy on Monday attributed his shutdown of interstate youth sports to the spread of the virus during travel youth hockey tournaments that included out-of-state teams and players.

“Now while we have also seen coronavirus spread associated specifically, with indoor youth hockey, we know that all indoor sports create a greater risk of team-wide transmission, and that risk is even greater when teams from multiple states come together for tournaments or other youth league functions,” Murphy said. “Therefore, again starting on Thursday, all interstate games and tournaments for indoor youth sports, up to and including high school, are prohibited for the time being. It simply is not safe for teams to be crossing state lines to participate in indoor competitions where there is a serious risk of spreading the virus.”

The measure does not apply to outdoor sports or indoor sports not involving New Jersey based players and teams.

“These are the measures we are taking now, and they do not preclude us from taking further action in other areas, or placing further restrictions on these in the near future. But if we do, we anticipate they will be actions, again, that are surgical in their approach,” Murphy said.  “The essential thing is that we have to change our mindset. We remain in the midst of a global pandemic and in case you missed it, our country is now recording more than 100,000 cases per day, Judy, every day, and New Jersey is back at levels we thought we left behind months ago. We have to snap back into reality. This virus has not gone away and it is posing its greatest threat to us in many months.”