By CBS3 Staff

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (CBS) — The official start of New Jersey high school fall sports seasons are expected to begin in October, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said Friday. The official start of the fall sports seasons is being pushed back by about a month, per the NJSIAA’s “Return To Play” plan.

The fall sports season usually begins in September.

“High school sports are school-based, so we need to first ensure all is in order with the opening of our schools,” Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA chief operating officer, said. “After that, we can begin playing sports. To be clear, our goal is to return to play – while making sure that health, safety, emotional well-being and academics come first. We have a different model than some other types of programs that are far smaller in scale and operate independently. We have a duty to ensure that New Jersey’s schools and their more than 1.5 million students and teachers, including 283,000 high school student-athletes, can first return to school and their academics, and then participate in extracurricular activities like sports.”

Summer workouts for high-school athletes are allowed to resume on Monday, July 13 and will end on Aug. 28. Following workouts, there will be a two-week period from Aug. 29 through Sept. 13 where virtual meetings will be permitted related to in-season fall sport only.

Official practices for the fall sports season can begin on Sept. 14. Games will begin on Oct. 1 for all sports, except football and girl’s tennis.

Football can begin on Oct. 2, while girl’s tennis may resume a few days earlier on Sept. 28.

Leagues are strongly encouraged to revise schedules to keep competition local and minimize the number of different schools that come in contact with each other.

Regular seasons for girl’s tennis will end on Oct. 23, Nov. 7 for football and Nov. 12 for all other fall sports.

There will be limited postseason play from Oct. 24 through Oct. 31 for girl’s tennis and Nov. 13 through Nov. 22 for all other sports.

The schools that do not participate in the postseason can continue to play until Nov. 22 — with the exception being Thanksgiving football games.

Thanksgiving football games are permissible after Nov. 22, but it is up to each school if they want to participate.

The postseason is expected to be open to any team that wants to participate. It will remain local, like the regular season, with a sectional championship or less.

The NJSIAA says a seeding committee will be used by every sport in order to remove the reliance on power points, standings and overall record.

No other fall sports can compete after Nov. 22.