Simonsen bill helping student athletes goes to governor’s desk

Simonsen bill helping student athletes goes to governor’s desk

TRENTON, N.J. – The Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday that ensures students won’t be stripped of their opportunity to represent their schools. Committees in both houses amended the bill to allow any student join sports for the fall season.

Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, a school athletic director in Cape May County, sponsors the legislation.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to compete in school sports,” said Simonsen (R-Cape May). “We need to get back to a sense of normalcy. We can’t let extraordinary circumstances stop anybody from living life to the fullest and being able to seize any opportunity available.”

The bill (A4295) allows student-athletes to participate in school sports if they haven’t had a physical in over 365 days. Typically, students would not be allowed to participate without a physical examination prior to the season. Covid-19 has made it more difficult for students to make a doctor’s appointment.

Athletes have until the end of the season to pass an examination, but they will still have to fill out the regular health history questionnaire. Students are disqualified from playing until they pass a physical if they answer yes to any question.