POSTSEASON: CCC plan features four-team mini-tournaments

POSTSEASON: CCC plan features four-team mini-tournaments

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MERIDEN — A postseason experience was always the goal in place of a typical state tournament in a shortened 2020 fall season. 

The Central Connecticut Conference has planned its postseason for the week of Nov. 9 for girls and boys soccer, girls volleyball, field hockey, swimming and cross country.

“The kids have made a lot of concessions this season, but they’ve been resilient,” Maloney Athletic Director Bob McKee said. “It hasn’t been easy for anybody. Everyone would love to play a true state tournament like in a normal year, but they are happy to have something.

“The worst thing would have been a cancellation. We are appreciative to be playing and not taking anything for granted.”

The conference met Thursday morning and unveiled its plan shortly after. There are still some details to iron out.

For now, the plan is to have boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey and girls volleyball start on Monday, Nov. 9 or Tuesday, Nov. 10.

All teams qualify for the postseason. Each will play two games.

All action will be played at the higher seed. There will be two days between the semifinals and the finals/third-place games.

The soccer and volleyball teams will continue to play in their eight-school pods, with squads seeded seeded 1-8. The top four teams will play a mini-tournament. The bottom four teams will play a separate mini-tournament.

Seeding is based on win percentage in case some teams played less than 12 games.

Field hockey is a little trickier. Each pod in the CCC has seven teams, so the math isn’t as easy as it is for the eight-team pods in soccer and volleyball.

The plan is to have the top four field hockey teams in each pod play a semifinal and final round. Teams 5-7 will likely play a three-team round robin, but details are still being finalized on that.

In swimming, the championships will be virtual. Swimmers have to swim at their home pool or in a dual meet between Nov. 9-12 and submit times to the CCC. Results from a virtual or dual meet will be accumulated on Nov. 13.

Swimming in the CCC has four regions of six. Southington and Meriden Co-Op will compete with Bristol Eastern, Bristol Central, Plainville and Middletown. 

Divers in the four regions will also compete from Nov. 9-12. The regions may hold an in-person meet over one or two days depending on the number of divers in the region. A region could also choose to do things virtually.

Scores will be submitted in a 6- or 11-dive format to the regional chairs by Nov. 13 and then sent to a central hub for all 24 schools.

As for cross country, the CCC is still ironing out details.

As a whole, the hope is to complete the postseason by the end of the week of Nov. 9. That way, there can be a week off before the winter season starts practice on Nov. 21.

“From Day 1, the CIAC said there would be a postseason experience and they decided that we would stay in our own regions,” Southington Athletic Director Steve Risser said. “We are happy that our kids will have a chance for a postseason event for cross country and swimming and a mini tournament for soccer, volleyball and field hockey. We’re thrilled they have an opportunity to have two more games. We are thrilled there is a postseason week.”

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