CHESHIRE, Conn. — The organization that oversees high school athletics in Connecticut plans to move forward with a fall sports season, including football, despite the recommendation of state health officials.
The revised plan released Wednesday night by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, will allow full contact practices beginning Sept. 21 in all sports and games to begin on Oct. 1.
The CIAC said it decided to pick Sept. 21 as a start date because most schools will have been in session for at least two weeks and that will give the organization a better idea of how in-person learning is affecting the spread of the coronavirus and what that impact might be on extracurricular activities.
Executive director Glenn Lungarini planned to discuss details of the plan, which the organization said remains fluid and could change again, Thursday morning.
Football conditioning resumed Monday and non-contact drills will be allowed to start this Saturday.
The decision comes despite a recommendation from the state Department of Health not to play football or indoor volleyball this fall.
“We’ve been consistently recommending that the higher risk and the moderate risk indoor sports be deferred,” Acting DPH Commissioner Deidre Gifford, said Wednesday. “That was our recommendation in our first letter (to the CIAC). It’s our recommendation in our second letter and it’s likely to remain consistent.”
The department issued its recommendations in response to an an earlier CIAC plan, which called for full practices to begin Sept. 11, with games on Sept. 24.
The CIAC said its disagreement with the Health Department comes in part because youth sports leagues have been operating this summer with few issues.
By Pat Eaton-Robb, The Associated Press