Full-contact football is officially off the table for this fall after the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled the season following meetings with the Department of Public Health, but individual conferences are already seeking alternatives.
The Eastern Connecticut Athletic Conference announced on Monday its plans for the football season, which include 7-on-7 play and linemen challenges, and now, the Central Connecticut Conference appears to be following suit.
“There are a couple of proposals circulating within the CCC that include many of the same things,” CCC commissioner Trish Witkin said.
CCC athletic directors will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss those alternatives further, Witkin said, and a coaches meeting will follow on Thursday evening to potentially finalize plans for a season that has been in limbo for the past two months.
The ECC’s announcement included 7-on-7 competition with no running plays, with the offense needing the usual four downs to gain 10 yards, with one-hand touch tackling being implemented. Quarterbacks would have four seconds to make a pass, and punting and extra points would still be allowed. In terms of linemen, they can earn points for their team in group competitions like tug of war, sled and pursuit drills and heavy bag carries. This new-look football format for the ECC is scheduled to begin on Sept. 25, and a showcase for upperclassmen is scheduled at the end of October.
It is still unclear how similar the CCC’s plan will be to the ECC, but momentum appears to be heading in the direction of 7-on-7 play for teams in the local area.
“I do anticipate there will be something solidified and discussed in greater detail and given a more in-depth look at some of those options,” Witkin said. “We might know more in a couple of days.”