High School Sports

CIAC Requests For Conditioning To Resume Monday As Fall Season Talks Continue

Darien scores a touchdown in a game last fall against Fairfield Ludlowe.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has requested that the state Department of Public Health consider allowing high schools to resume conditioning workouts as early as Monday as the two groups continue to try and finalize the status for the fall sports season.

This comes as Gov. Ned Lamont’s ReOpen Connecticut Rules Committee, at today’s meeting, considers a discrepancy between both sides. The DPH has recommended that football and girls volleyball be moved to the spring and all other fall sports delayed two weeks until school starts.

“The frustration is with COVID,” CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said. “The information that changes on a daily basis and trying to make a decision that’s in the best interest of kids. The information that we had from DPH changed from late July until mid-August and yesterday was the opportunity that we had to have our medical experts sit with theirs to better understand that change.”

The CIAC is seeking to resolved what it terms inconsistent guidance issued for its sanctioned sports versus travel and club teams.

The CIAC Board of Control, which met this morning to review last night’s discussion between then CIAC and DPH, has set the following timeline:

  • The CIAC Board of Control will meet again at 7 p.m. on Sunday. 
  • The CIAC Board of Control will submit modified fall sport plan options to the DPH for consideration, which it has indicated it would welcome for review. 
  • The CIAC will delay the first date for all fall sports to Aug. 29.

Lungarini said a modified plan will be delivered to DPH on Monday but it is possible that a final decision may not come until the end of next week. Much will depend on how long it takes for a response from DPH.

“This timeline will allow the DPH adequate time to consider CIAC’s revised fall sports plans, which it will submit early next week, and athletic directors the time necessary to begin a sports season,” a release sent out by the CIAC read. “The CIAC will update member schools on the return to conditioning workouts as soon as more information becomes available. 

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Schools until this week were allowed to hold non-contact conditioning workouts since early July.

The CIAC released its plan for the fall season on July 31. It called for all games to be played against regional opponents to reduce travel. The regular season would begin for all sports on Sept. 24 and run until Oct. 30. There is a window from Nov. 2-15 in each sport to allow for some kind of tournament play. A cross country postseason would run from Oct. 31-Nov. 8.

Football teams would be allowed a maximum of six regular season games. All other sports will have a limit of 12 regular season games or meets. Teams in each sport will play no more than twice a week.

Based on the plan, it is expected any postseason would give all teams two more games. All teams would be eligible, regardless of record, to participate in playoffs to ensure playing the maximum number of games.

“Be patient a little bit longer,” Lungarini said. “We continue to have great conversations with DPH and are hopeful we can give a position that both DPH and CIAC jointly share. Hopefully we can do that by the end of next week.”

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