skip navigation

NJ Approves Spectators for Youth Sporting Events

By AAHA, 02/13/21, 1:30PM EST


New Jersey Approves Spectators for Youth Sporting Events

February 13, 2021

On Friday, February 12, 2021, New Jersey Governor Murphy authorized the following:

(Excerpt from NJ Executive Order #220 -

“Operators of such sports activities may permit up to two parents, or guardians per athlete under the age of twenty-one participating in the practice or competition to attend the event provided all attendees abide by the applicable requirements in the DOH’s “Guidance for Sports Activities.”

The AAHA is pleased with this development, and we appreciate Governor Murphy’s efforts to get our parents back into the ice rink.  That said, this is not without challenges for ice rinks and their staff. The order states:

“The number of individuals present inside facilities … may not exceed 35 percent of the capacity of the room in which it takes place, and such limit may not exceed 150 persons.”

Each facility has unique features: some are conducive for spectators while being socially distant, and other facilities that will be required to have far less than the two (2) parents/guardians per athlete. Some facilities have less than a 200 person max capacity, and with the added 35% restriction, that would severely limit the headcount for parents.

We have received some preliminary reports that masks and social-distancing requirements are not being followed. I call upon all of our coaches, administrators, and parents to work closely with their facilities on those challenges, follow the COVID mitigation requirements, and respect the decisions clubs and facilities arrive at to best manage this issue.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Glenn Hefferan
AAHA President