With the state high school sports world seeking any sign of positive news, the CIAC today provided a glimmer of hope with its morning announcement that it would not yet cancel the spring season.
A statement released before noon, following an online meeting with nearly 70 school superintendents, principals, league commissioners and government leaders, read, “CIAC reached a consensus that canceling the entirety of the spring sports season is premature at this time. There is a strong desire to provide student athletes some spring athletic experience if possible. Any plan for spring sports will need to adhere to the guidelines from the Governor’s office, Department of Education and health experts regarding the potential reopening of schools to establish a specific time frame.”
Later, during a 12-minute teleconference call with the media, CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said that the CIAC will take a wait-and-see approach on everything going forward, including setting a date for the beginning and end of a season, whether the mandate for 10 days of practice before the first games will be enforced and if the season could extend beyond the end of the school year, into late June and even July.
“The CIAC and its board of controls has taken the action at this time to indefinitely suspend spring sports,” Lungarini said. “That means that no spring sports activities will begin and no teams should be practicing at this time. We will update this as more information becomes available and our goal will be to take the information that we have of when school may reopen and may return to provide as good of a spring sports experience for our student-athletes as we can.”
Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report for baseball practices last Saturday. The spring season was set to begin April 4.
The CIAC cancelled the completion of the winter sports season on March 10.
Lungarini juxtaposed the decisions between the winter and spring seasons.
“We do appreciate and understand athletics holds a special place in the hearts of our kids and our communities,” Lungarini said. “With that, we want to preserve as much as we can, any possibility to give our spring sport athletes an opportunity to play. It was greatly disappointing that we had to cancel our winter tournaments. The one solace that we took was that our student athletes had the ability and opportunity to play in their regular season.
“We do so with an understanding that that information can change on a daily basis in terms of when schools may or may not be able to return on campus and how we can best keep all people in our community safe. With that in mind we would like to encourage our kids that the best thing they can do to get back to school and get back to our fields of play is to adhere to the guidance of social distancing.”