CHESHIRE — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference board of control greenlit mitigation strategies for the winter high school sports season Thursday and will distribute the plan to its member schools soon.
The Jan. 19 start date for winter teams to begin practicing remains intact, but the board will reconvene Jan. 14 to evaluate further guidance from the Department of Public Health and the governor’s office.
“The CIAC Board of Control met this morning to discuss recent communications with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, appraise the current level of in-person learning around the state, and review the COVID mitigating strategies contained in the CIAC Winter Sports Plan,” the CIAC said in a statement. “With approval by the board this morning, the initial COVID mitigating strategies for winter sports will be shared with our member schools in the coming days.”
Wrestling is the only winter sport that was deemed high-risk with basketball, ice hockey, indoor track, gymnastics, and swimming and diving all categorized as moderate-risk, but the CIAC is unable to officially determine which sports are safe to play until the DPH and governor’s office release their suggestions.
"[DPH commissioner] Deidre [Gifford] is meeting with CIAC, I think as early as tomorrow,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in his Thursday press conference, “and start focusing on the Jan. 19 date, which is a date we gave to be able to start practice and condition and make some decisions soon thereafter."
Official contests are not allowed to start until 10 days after practices begin and the CIAC has potential start dates for the season in place, but cannot reveal them until all safety guidelines are shared.
CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said the CIAC is planning 12-game regular seasons for basketball and hockey, but the ultimate deciding factors will be the number of schools open and the state’s overall covid-19 metrics. Connecticut’s positivity rate as of Jan. 7 is at 6.28 percent.
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com