CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — On Friday, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has requested that the Department of Public Health (DPH) consider allowing member schools to resume the non-contact conditioning workouts as early as Monday.

“Additionally, the CIAC understands that, at today’s ReOpen CT Rules Committee meeting, consideration will be given to the inconsistent guidance issued for CIAC interscholastic athletics versus non-CIAC youth sport opportunities. The CIAC and the DPH will continue our collaborative work once an update from those discussions is available, either later today or over the weekend.”

The CIAC is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Sunday and plans to submit a modified fall sports plan options to the DPH. The CIAC will also delay the first date for all fall sports to Saturday, August 29, 2020.

This announcement comes following a multi-hour virtual meeting between the CIAC and DPH on Thursday night. Following that meeting, the CIAC issued the following statement:

The CIAC met virtually this evening with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The more than two-hour meeting demonstrated the commitment that both the CIAC and DPH share in providing safe, meaningful, interscholastic athletic experiences for our students. The meeting allowed the CIAC to better understand the change in DPH’s position and recommendations for interscholastic athletics from late July to their August 13, 2020 letter.

Tomorrow, the ReOpen CT Rules Committee, as part of their meeting, will discuss the inconsistency between DPH recommendations for CIAC interscholastic athletics and non-CIAC sanctioned sport activities. The CIAC welcomes the additional dialogue that will continue following the Rules Committee meeting. 

The CIAC believes that our continued collaborations with DPH will provide a clear direction for fall interscholastic athletics in the near future. The CIAC will update our membership and student-athletes after our Board of Control has had an opportunity to review the information learned in tonight’s discussion.

CIAC statement

Thursday a group of student-athletes gathered at CIAC headquarters as the decision on whether to resume fall sports was being discussed. The event was organized by Southington High School quarterback Brady Lafferty. He was joined by his teammates and athletes across the state.

“If they’re allowing other sports to be played, volleyball, baseball, basketball, all summer long, I don’t see why football can’t be played in the spring. Especially with Connecticut coronavirus numbers are doing a lot better than other states. And those states have been allowed to play,” said Lafferty.

One day after the state Department of Public Health (DPH) urged caution in response to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s plan to go forward with fall sports, the CIAC announced Friday (Aug. 14) that it was pressing pause on fall sports, pending a meeting with the DPH.

Following last week’s CIAC Board of Control meeting, the board extended an invitation to DPH to meet to discuss its recommendations for interscholastic athletics. Based on DPH recommendations, the board took the action to pause all in-person interscholastic fall sports activity including conditioning programs, which are already underway until Monday, Aug. 24. 

Related: CIAC moving forward with fall sports plan

The rest of the CIAC statement following the Friday, Aug. 14 Board of Control meeting states:

CIAC welcomes continued collaboration and input from experts while emphasizing that the safety and health of students is the focus of all decisions. The importance of safely conducting interscholastic athletics remains paramount. Connecticut COVID health metrics show students have been safely participating in athletics across the state throughout the summer and that participation in private or town programs would likely continue throughout the fall if interscholastic opportunities are canceled. While outside programs have had minimal issues thus far, CIAC believes its collaboration with health experts and relationships with its member schools has lead to a plan providing the best alignment with COVID mitigating strategies and creates the best opportunity for a safe and equitable fall sports season. CIAC has been consistent throughout the challenges presented by COVID-19 and will continue to consult with its education partners and medical experts and review positions from state leaders in an effort to create interscholastic athletic plans that align with the educational interests of our member schools and provide the safest athletic experience for Connecticut student-athletes.

CIAC statement, Friday Aug 14

CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini posted a video message on Twitter following the meeting last Friday:

The CIAC decision came only hours after the city of New Haven announced that many fall sports for New Haven Public Schools are being postponed until Spring 2021.