Christie signs Ciattarelli/Auth/Space bill
expanding high school varsity letters beyond athletics
TRENTON, N.J. – High school varsity letters will no longer be restricted to sports stars under a bill sponsored by Assemblymen Jack Ciattarelli, Robert Auth and Parker Space and signed today by Gov. Chris Christie. The new law (S2398/A3879) requires high school districts to award varsity letters to students for participation in all extracurricular activities that include competitions with other schools.
“Varsity letters signify sacrifice and accomplishment. They should not be limited to athletes in traditional sports,” said Ciattarelli (R—Somerset). “Awarding a varsity letter to everyone who distinguishes themselves and their high school in interscholastic competitions is only fair. Some schools have letters for marching band and jazz band members. It is time to include other competitive activities that require the same level of commitment, dedication, teamwork, and school pride.”
Students will be eligible to earn varsity letters for participating in activities including robotics, debate teams, chess clubs, and any other school sanctioned activity that involves competing with other high schools.
“It’s time to level the playing field,” said Auth (R—Bergen). “Students who excel in activities other than sports deserve recognition for their work. Anytime a student engages in competition and is consistently successful, whether it’s a debate team, cheerleading squad or football, they should be able to qualify for a varsity letter for their hard work and dedication.”
“A varsity letter is a source of pride, earned through tireless effort, fierce determination, and unwavering commitment. By opening the opportunity for a letter to more students, schools are strengthened and student outcomes are enhanced,” said Space (R—Sussex). “Extracurricular activities are an integral part of education. The benefits of competing with schoolmates against peers from other schools – on the playing field or in the auditorium – cannot be overstated.”