CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) released plans for high school football to be played in the spring.
The CIAC’s Board of Control met Tuesday to review the latest sport guidance issued by the
State Department of Health, and created what they are calling a “Second Semester Alternative Season” in which football could be played.
That alternative season would be accommodated by adjusting the dates for traditional winter and spring sports to eliminate conflicts in dates.
The special season has been scheduled for not just football, but any fall sport that misses out on at least 40% of their season.
Coach John Acquavita of Wilbur Cross football told News 8 of the news, “Now that it has been canceled for this fall, and we are all back at the starting point. This has got to be the best news we could hope for because the word hope is what we’re looking for.”
The dates for the three seasons to work together would be as follows:
In the announcement Tuesday the CIAC acknowledged that the ability to play football in this new “alternative season” still hinges on supportive COVID-19 metrics in the state.
The announcement also states that the CIAC does not endorse student-athletes playing on independent football teams that some areas have announced in the fall, citing the possibility for “overuse injury.” The city of Meriden, for instance, announced last week that the city would allow for football to be played in the fall.
Athletes and coaches have ideas to make the season safer, and they say now is the time to act and get the football people together with the health department And have everything figured out for the Feb. 22 start date.
Coach Acquavita says now the Department of Public Health will hopefully sit down with some football people so they can get out ahead of it and find a way to reduce the risk from high-risk to medium risk.
“Do you want face shields on everybody? Let’s buy them all and get ready now,” he said.
CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said, “It’s not the fall season that the athletes otherwise would’ve had, but considering we are still dealing with a pandemic, that we don’t have a vaccine for yet, we are pleased that we are able to offer these experiences to so many kids.”
Erika Cangro, a senior student-athlete told News 8, “I love my team and I want to keep playing, but I wish there was more security. I wish there was a way they could do occasional testing.”
Of course, this all depends upon the numbers. Many coaches and players say the state’s numbers are low now, and ask ‘how is it going to be any better in February?’ That remains to be seen.
Coach Acquavita added, “I think the big test is going to be if hockey gets off the ground and they get through the season. And they are in decent shape, the only difference is they have a shield and we don’t.”
“There is certainly some concern with sports like wrestling and competitive cheer and dance, and we have been working on the sports continuously,” explained Lungarini.
“I am glad we are playing, I think,” Cangro said. “We are seniors and I have been waiting for this for four years, so I am really happy I’m playing!
To full plan to allow for spring football can be viewed below: