High School Sports

Winter Sports Clear Highest Obstacle For Feb. 1 Start, With Practices In Eight Days

The CIAC announced today that a letter it received from the state Department of Public Health will allow moderate- and low-risk sports to begin team activities that involve conditioning, sports-specific non-contact drills, team practices and intra-squad scrimmages.

Sports that fall under those categories include basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics, swimming and indoor track. The DPH recommended that high-risk sports — wrestling, competitive cheer and competitive dance — not hold competitions or matches, allowing only for small group conditioning and non-contact skills.

“Assuming community metrics continue an appropriate downward trend and athletic activities are not impacting in-person learning, interscholastic in-state competitions should begin no earlier than February 1, 2021,” acting DPH commissioner Deidre Gifford wrote.

Barring something unforeseen, the CIAC Board of Control in its Thursday morning meeting should approve the current plan for practices to begin on Jan. 19, as currently scheduled.

All players, coaches and officials will need to wear facemasks. Teams will remain socially distant, with masks on, while on the sidelines.

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It is expected that sports like basketball and hockey will play the maximum 12-game regular seasons that will be allowed. In basketball, the FCIAC is expected to go from three to two divisions. Hockey will follow its plans for a revised schedule that will emphasize teams playing others in their own divisions for competitive balance.

The status of postseason playoffs right now are undecided, but no state tournaments have yet been canceled. There is a window right now from March 8-21 for CIAC playoffs.


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