CIAC Winter Sports Postponed
Updated: Jan 14
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced on Tuesday that they are postponing all winter sports until January 19, 2021.
Seasons were originally supposed to start either at the end of November or on December 5. However, due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Connecticut, CIAC leaders decided to play it safe and push the season back.
CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said the reasoning for the deferral was because many schools have already gone to full remote learning. Lungarini mentioned that he believes January 19 could be a possible return date because, while recently the numbers of cases have been increasing, scientists are expecting the numbers to come back down after the new year.
Until then, only off-season conditioning is allowed. Although January 19 is the official start of the season, only practices will be permitted as games and meets cannot begin until January 29.
Many students are disappointed with this decision, especially athletes who participated in low-risk sports, such as track and swimming, both of which had models that worked effectively in the fall. According to Lungarini, of the 31,000 practice games held this fall, only seven cases of COVID linked back to CIAC events. As a result, many are questioning why winter sports are not being welcomed with open arms.
Many students also are upset that sports are not allowed to take place despite Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) Superintendent Toni Jones’ desire to keep schools open as long as possible due to the success of the safety precautions. Students and coaches have also not been given much information as to what guidelines would need to be followed once practices do start, sparking more confusion and frustration.
CIAC surveyed roughly 100 principals and administrators from Connecticut schools asking whether or not they would like sports to continue. Of those who responded, 44.2% said they would want to continue both practice and games during full remote learning. Furthermore, 14.7% stated they would be fine with practices but would not approve of games during remote learning.
Still, CIAC leaders are resistant to starting winter sports right away, claiming to be making their decisions based on the number of cases in schools.
Despite this news, not all hope is lost for those impacted. CIAC recently announced that it plans on pushing the ending date of the season back, giving students a full winter season unlike the previous fall and spring seasons.
While things might be looking down for current athletes, it is important to also look on the bright side: this season at least will have a better outcome than the previous two.