Student-athletes in Connecticut received more clarity on what the spring sports season is going to look like on Thursday as the state moves forward through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference released its final plan for spring sports on Thursday, March 11, after meeting with athletic directors from across the state in the morning.
The announcement came a year to the day that the CIAC canceled the 2020 winter state tournaments due to the initial surge of COVID-19 across the country last March.
“When you reflect on what happened 365 days ago, we were planning for what may be anything to a two-week to a two-month time out,” CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini stated.
“Now, 12 months later, we feel very fortunate that we’re able to look forward to a spring season that is going to be a full season to return kids to state tournament play and develop programs over the summer that will lead into a full fall experience and normal return in fall of 2021.”
Practice for spring sports will begin on Saturday, March 27, with pitchers and catchers in baseball and softball permitted to return as of Saturday, March 20. Games will begin on Saturday, April 10.
There will be no more than three games a week, though there will be fans allowed in the stands during those games, with each district coming up with its own plan.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that depending on the sport, some tournaments will be allowed toward the end of May or the beginning of June as the state continues ramping up its vaccination plan.
Due to COVID-19, student-athletes playing baseball, softball, lacrosse, track and field, tennis and golf will not be required to wear facial coverings, though for indoor volleyball, they will be required to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Masks should be worn at all times when not actively competing," the plan states. "This includes coaches, players, officials, game workers, and spectators. Boys volleyball players, as an indoor sport, are required to wear a mask during active competition."
According to the CIAC, locker rooms should be used as infrequently as possible, and players and coaches are responsible for monitoring themselves and teams for any potential COVID-19 symptoms.
The CIAC will also continue requiring student-athletes or coaches required to quarantine to wait at least 14 days before hitting the field.
Complete guidance on spring sports from the CIAC can be found here.
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