Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has postponed the high school winter sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Governor Ned Lamont is releasing restrictions on high-risk and moderate-risk sports.
Thursday, the CIAC announced they were postponing the high school winter sports season. It was set to begin Nov. 21, but now it is “postponed pending the review of forthcoming guidance from the state Department of Public Health (DPH).”
CIAC Executive Director Glen Lungarini said, “We are just being realistic about the time frames that we have, we do anticipate having updated guidance from DPH shortly.”
The governor now says some sports cannot be played at all this winter, including 11-on-11 football, boys lacrosse, wrestling, dance, boxing, rugby, and competitive cheer. Those sports are considered in the red zone – ‘high-risk’ – for COVID-19 transmission.
Sports in the yellow zone – ‘moderate-risk’ – are basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, water polo, gymnastics, ice hockey, field hockey, tennis, swimming relays, pole vault, high jump, long jump, girls lacrosse, rowing/crew, and 7-on-7 football.
The governor said, even though sports considered ‘moderate-risk’ will be allowed to play, they will continue with health safety measures.
“”We have seen a lot of infections in and around sports, in and around hockey,” he said.
Gov. Lamont said the athletes will be wearing the masks during play on the field, on the ice, and around the pool for swimming, starting Friday.
Up until now, the Hall High School soccer team kept their masks on at all times except for when running sprints or gameplay.
Coach Zeke Seguro tells News 8 he’s not sure how this new requirement from the governor is going to work out for his athletes: “The only kind of mask-wearing conditioning that we have done is in warm-ups, so all-out 10 to 15 minute running, I don’t know how that’s going to impact being able for them to get their wind…If that’s what’s required then that is what we will have to do. We will have to adjust on the fly but we’re excited we just have the opportunity to play.”
There will also be no tournaments. Connecticut teams should not host out-of-state tournaments nor should they travel to out-of-state tournaments. The biggest reason: if an athlete tests positive, the track and trace is very difficult and requires large quarantines.
Governor Lamont said, “If your team is going to be playing we would like to know who is on the roster and how we can contact them if there is an infection. “
State Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said, “They are telling us that it’s beginning to impact the ability of some schools to remain open because so many kids are being asked to quarantine and sometimes it’s teachers as well if they are acting as coaches.”
The governor says he’s doing this in coordination with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as they have been wearing masks on the field for weeks, and it’s working.