Hundreds of students protest CIAC’s decision to cancel all winter sports tournaments due to coronavirus


CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — A major protest from parents, coaches, and players took place on Wednesday morning outside the offices of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), the organization that canceled the rest of the winter season for all high school sports championship tournaments in the face of the coronavirus.

If the online reaction was any gauge, a lot of people were expected to protest that decision and hundreds of protesters did turn out.

News 8 Digital First: CIAC Protest

While a tough call was made to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the state has asked people not to gather in groups of more than 100. Various school districts were handling that in different ways when it came to athletic competitions.

RELATED: CIAC cancels all winter tournaments over coronavirus spread concerns, student-athletes, parents put forth petition to play

The venues where matches and tournaments were going to be played started canceling events as well. So in the face of all of that, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference decided to cancel all winter sports.

This time of year, that is mostly tournaments, playoffs, and championships, and coaches know that means a lot of dreams are not going to come true this year.

News 8 Digital First: CIAC Protest

“Obviously this is a real health crisis that’s going on in the country. But from the standpoint of a coach and a person who works with young people, they’re going to be terribly disappointed. And from experience this is something that is going to haunt them for the rest of their lives,” Kevin Walton, Wilbur Cross Boys Head Coach.

Some are still trying to get this decision reversed. There is an online petition circulating right now that has almost 80,000 signatures. That petition suggests playing games with few to no spectators and streaming the games on the internet so that people can watch them.

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The petition says this decision is particularly hard on seniors who have been playing these sports their whole lives, and probably never will again.

Wednesday, we asked you whether or not you thought the CIAC should reverse its decision, and allow winter sports tournaments to be played. Here’s what you told us.

The overwhelming majority said, yes, the CIAC should reverse course and allow the kids to play in one form or another.

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