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Sports

COVID-19: CIAC Decision To Pause Fall Sports Upsets Student-Athletes, Parents, Coaches

Fall sports are temporarily on hold as the CIAC meets with the Department of Health.
Fall sports are temporarily on hold as the CIAC meets with the Department of Health. Photo Credit: @nhsathletics

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has paused fall sports as it gets set to meet with the state Department of Health to review recommendations on school sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, much to the disappointment of student-athletes, coaches and parents.

The CIAC previously planned on moving forward with fall sports, but announced last week that it would follow health officials’ recommendations to pause in-person fall sports, including conditioning programs, until at least Monday, Aug. 24.

According to the Department of Health, any moderate or high-risk sports, including football and volleyball, should be postponed until the spring, though the CIAC previously put the decision in the hands of each school district.

The decision to pause sports - which were already ongoing - drew the ire of parents and student-athletes, who plan to hold a gathering outside CIAC headquarters on Thursday, Aug. 20 to express their concerns about halting fall sports.

“I welcome them to come today,” CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini stated. “Again, encourage them to follow social distancing rules and make sure you bring a mask, but I think it’s a good opportunity for us to talk directly with kids and understand particularly, from March to now, it’s been frustrating for kids.”

The meeting between health officials and the CIAC is to be held via Zoom on Thursday. Check Daily Voice for new information.

According to the CIAC, the plan is fluid, under constant review, and is suspect to change at any point, depending on the situation.

“We’ve elected to continue forward with the plan,” Lungarini previously stated. “At this time we feel the health metrics in Connecticut have not changed, and we’re looking at it on a fluid basis. The decision to move forward with fall sports could change if there is new information that comes out.

“We’re going to continue with the plan after hearing from our various stakeholder groups (this week),” Lungarini continued. “We’ve had the chance to collaborate and hear directly from our medical advisory group and they firmly believe the COVID metrics have not changed and it's safe to play all the sports scheduled right now with the mitigating factors we have in place.” 

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