Fall sports practices are back on, at least for now.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference released a statement Sunday night confirming that conditioning for all fall sports were cleared to resume as of Monday. Conditioning had been put on hold last week after the CIAC met with the Department of Public Health to discuss the outlook for a fall sports season.
The resumption of conditioning workouts doesn’t guarantee a fall season, as the past two weeks have shown the situation to be fluid, but the CIAC did include in its statement that should any fall sports wind up being canceled, they will not be played at all during the academic year, ruling out the possibility of high-risk sports like football and girls volleyball being moved to the spring.
“In alignment with positive discussions with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the CIAC Board of Control voted at its Sunday meeting to restart conditioning for all fall sports,” Sunday night’s statement read. “On Monday, August 24, schools may return to the conditioning activities that were being conducted since July 6. On Saturday, August 29, schools may begin non-contact sport specific skill work. Both conditioning and skill work are to take part in small cohorts in adherence with guidance from the National Federation of State High School Associations and the DPH. Conducting conditioning and sport specific skill work as non-contact and in small cohorts is classified as low risk regardless of the sport.”
The original plan saw fall practices officially beginning on Aug 27, but that will now be pushed back two days, meaning whatever finalized fall schedule the CIAC puts together, it will likely include a later start date than the initial plan of Sept 23.
The CIAC’s initial fall sports plan included an abbreviated schedule and limited postseason competition coming to an end on Nov 15. The CIAC had voted to move forward with fall sports before meeting with DPH last week, but all conditioning workouts were put on pause to further discuss safety concerns surrounding covid-19. Now, it will try to move forward and save a fall sports season for Connecticut student-athletes who haven’t played high school competition since winter state tournaments were shut down on March 9.
“As it has done through this entire process, the board will continue to monitor the situation and the plan will remain fluid,” the CIAC said in Sunday’s statement.
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org