The governors of the six New England states and New Jersey announced the suspension of interstate public and private school hockey and youth hockey until at least Dec. 31, similar to a policy announced last week for Connecticut, as part of their efforts to contain COVID-19.
The suspension goes into effect Saturday and runs through the end of the calendar year. It will not affect interstate college, pro or national-team activities, the governors’ joint statement said.
“As case numbers increase in many states across the country, it is critical that neighboring states coordinate a regional approach to limit further community spread of the virus,” the statement said.
“As public health data continues to evolve, the states will reassess the need for continued restrictions on interstate sports activities.”
The Connecticut Insterscholastic Athletic Conference had already said it would not allow its high school teams in any sport to play home or away games against out-of-state teams.
Hockey has been under scrutiny this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and several New England states placed restrictions on the sport and on skating rinks. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont never went that far but had urged caution, seeing cases around the sport, mentioning tournaments as a factor.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced new guidance on Monday for youth and amateur sports that did not recommend out-of-state competition or in-state multi-team tournaments in sports like hockey that were considered medium-risk (or in high-risk sports, for that matter) for spreading the novel coronavirus.
Lamont had said Thursday that those would not be allowed under new sector rules. Those rules say that activities that aren’t recommended by DPH are not allowed.