CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) – the governing body of high school athletics in the state – has released its plan for fall sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are excited to offer an opportunity, that brings sports back this fall and addresses the needs of our student-athletes to have meaningful athletic experiences from a social, emotional, physical, and mental health standpoint,” CAS/CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said.
In that release, the CIAC acknowledged that the plan needs to be fluid and could be changing from day to day depending on the state’s virus metrics.
SCHEDULING THE SEASON
For now, athletes can continue conditioning in small groups, and that group size can be increased to 15 starting August 3.
All games will be scheduled regionally. The CIAC will work with the schools during August to come up with a comprehensive schedule, and tournaments will be scheduled during the last two weeks of the fall season. Schools should expect to have games with the 10 closest schools in their region. This will also give parents the option to transport their children to the games.
TABLE OF PHASES
If all goes according to plan, the first day of practice with a full team will be September 11. The first day games can be held for all fall sports would be September 24, with most teams finishing the regular season on October 30. The “Tourney Experience” will be held in the first half of November before schools are out for Thanksgiving break.
The CIAC will provide details on safety protocols specific to each sport during game-play at a later date, but the CIAC included some general protocols Friday.
HEALTH and SAFETY PROTOCOLS
All athletes are asked to wear a mask or face covering during all phases of the season. However, masks are not needed when engaging in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic workouts, distance running, or swimming.
Coaches and other game personnel are also asked to wear a mask.
CDC sanitation guidelines must be followed for locker rooms and weight rooms.
Weight room equipment should be wiped down before and after an individual uses the equipment, the CIAC said. Athletes should wear clothing that will minimize sweat from transmitting onto the equipment. Spotters should stand at the end of the bar.
CIAC recommends limiting the number of athletes in the locker rooms at one time to maintain social distancing guidelines. Indoor sports teams heading to away games are asked to arrive in full uniform but will have access to a locker room or bathroom separate from the home team.
The CIAC is letting the schools decide on whether they will allow fans and spectators in the stands. Any schools that allow spectators to the games must follow state social-distancing precautions.
The full CIAC report breaks down the phased schedules for each fall sport and includes a chart coaches can use to monitor the health of their athletes for symptoms of COVID-19.
WEB EXTRA: Full fall 2020 high school sports plan from CIAC