RETURNING TO PLAY: CIAC issues recommended guidelines

RETURNING TO PLAY: CIAC issues recommended guidelines



CHESHIRE — For Connecticut high school students, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

On Friday, the CIAC released guidelines for the “resocialization” for scholastic sports and other activities.

Resocialization: That’s a one big word for “gettin’ back at it.” Albeit, by degrees.

The CIAC guidelines, drawn up in conjunction with the Connecticut State Medical Society Sports Medicine Committee, map out a gradual and phased return to activity throughout July and August. They follow much along the lines of recommendations already issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Provention as well as the National Federation of State High School Associations. 

Sports are catagorized from “low risk” — such as cross country — to “high risk” — such as football — and the recommendations for each vary accordingly. 

The suggested course of action is detailed and touches upon multiple bases, such as the opening of facilities, the size of gatherings, the sanitizing of equipment, the hygiene and health screening of players.

Target dates are included, but the plan is fluid, subject to change based on the progress of the coronavirus and Gov. Ned Lamont’s re-opening plan for the Connecticut.

On that front, the picture is promising. On Friday, the governor pushed up the launch of Phase II of his plan from June 20 to June 17. Phase II includes the re-opening of gyms, fitness studios, bowling alleys and some youth sports programs.

The CIAC, in issuing its recommendations, emphasized safety and caution in resuming activities. The CIAC also leaves considerable discretion to individual school disticts.

“It is understood that the guidelines do not fully mitigate any COVID-19 risk and, therefore, school districts, parents, athletes, coaches, and officials should make individual determinations on when it is safe to return,” the CIAC stated. “School districts should consult their local departments of public health prior to implementing a return to in-person athletics or activities.”

At this juncture, the opening of practice for the fall season remains August 17 for football and August 27 for all others. Opening day of competition is still slated for September 10.

There have been no high school sports in Connecticut since March 10, when the CIAC, acting several days ahead of much of the rest of the sports world, canceled what remained of the winter postseason.

The CIAC tried to hold out some hope for the spring season, making several postponements before becoming the last state in the nation to call it off entirely on May 6.

The CIAC Board of Control, which approved the re-opening guidelines on Thursday night, is expected to reconvene on this issue in late June. The complete recommendations can be found on the CIAC website at casci.ac/5713.


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