The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced on Wednesday that it has officially canceled the high school football season for this fall.
The CIAC said the decision was made in accordance with the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s recommendation that football is a “risky” sport in view of the potential spread of COVID-19.
“CIAC made every effort to weigh all factors in this decision, including the passionate voices of students, parents and school staff, and ultimately took the determination to align its decision with the recommendations of the governors office and DPH not to high risk taking sports right now, CIAC director Glenn Lungarini said in a press release Speaking with other state associations across the country, it was clear that a key factor in playing interscholastic football was alignment with the views of their governor and state health organization. .
The CIAC said it would recommend low- and medium-risk football activities that schools should be allowed to hold for their student athletes. Those recommendations will be made by the end of the week, Lungarini said.
The organization also left open the possibility of playing a football season at a later date if it did not interfere with spring sports.
The CIAC met with the Health Department last week to try to agree on mitigating factors that would allow full-contact football, but the DPH said the proposals do not turn football into a moderate-risk sport.
Hundreds of players, parents and coaches gathered at the State Capitol in Hartford last Wednesday to advocate for a fall football season.
More than 1,000 people gathered in the Capitol, calling for a fall high school football season.
In its decision to play football at a later date, the CIAC said it should consider many factors, including:
- How many sports are affected to the extent that they cannot compete during the regularly scheduled season?
- What other public health strategies have become available and are supported by better research?
- How is facility planning affected?
- The impact on field maintenance and playability.
- The viability of surface synthetic fields that pass the G-max test during the winter months.
- How has the COVID climate in Connecticut improved to support high-risk interscholastic athletics at a later date?
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Lungarini said schools could still play football as a club sport this fall, but those matches would not be approved by the CIAC.
Any student athletes who would play club football in the fall would still be eligible to play in the spring if the CIAC held a season then, Lungarini said.
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