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Gov. Lamont lifts cap on fans at youth sporting events as CIAC tweaks COVID guidelines for some higher-risk student winter sports

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CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAIC) recently met with Governor Lamont’s office and the Department of Public Health (DPH) to revisit the COVID guidelines for some winter school sports considered medium or high risk for spreading coronavirus.

The governor is lifting the cap on fans at youth sporting events. Capacity will be limited to 25 percent or up to 200 people. Interstate athletic competitions will start on March 1.

“I used to love watching my kids play hockey and basketball,” Lamont said. “I know that’s been sort of limited the last few months, so I think we’re going to lift that cap to some degree still erring on the side of caution, 25% of capacity or up to 200 people.”

The winter sports in question were competitive cheerleading, competitive dance, wrestling and indoor track jumping events.

In alignment with DPH’s COVID guidelines, CIAC will allow cheerleading and dance teams to compete virtually starting March 1. Masks are required, with some exceptions for the brief stunts and tumbling involved.

Wrestling will only continue conditioning and non-contact skill building this season.

Runners competing at indoor track and field events will still be asked to wear masks. Jumpers, however, may remove their mask during the approach and jump. Jumpers must put their mask back on when their jump has been completed. Dual meets are set to start on March 1.

Guidelines for boys lacrosse were also discussed, but no additional information on the spring sport was announced.

The CIAC spring sports season is still set to start on March 27, with meets and games starting on April 10. The spring regular season will end May 27, and tournaments will be held from June 1 through June 13.

As for the crowds in the stands, the CIAC is leaving the decision to allow spectators at events to the school district. However, the CIAC recommends that fans sit out on watching the games in person this season.

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