Connecticut High School Winter Sports Could Be Affected by COVID Pandemic
Here we go again, this time, it's winter High School sports that could be jeopardized by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
With the rise of COVID-19 cases in the state of Connecticut, the highest level since early June, the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) released a statement saying it may need to wait until mid-November before it decides on the fate of winter sports.
According to newstimes.com, Governor Ned Lamont said that the rate of people who tested positive for the coronavirus had increased to 4.1% of those tested.
Now, we've seen this movie before. Back in August, the CIAC and the Connecticut Department of Public Health went back and forth for weeks before they could finally come to a solution for fall sports. They both finally agreed to hold back on a full football season, and went along with the health departments guidelines for a 7 on 7 no contact shortened season.
Now, as the virus is seeing what some call a second wave, and cases, especially here in Connecticut, have risen dramatically, the CIAC is now concerned about the effect it may have on winter sports. In their latest statement, the CIAC Executive Director, Glenn Lungarini, said that they had hoped to release a full winter sports plan by November 10, but now, due to the increase in cases, they may have to push back that decision before making a call on any winter sports.
The tricky part about winter sports is that they are all played inside, and that raises a higher risk for super spreading events. Plus according to CIAC officials, there is a shortage of indoor venues since some local Colleges and Universities have told the CIAC that they will not be opening facilities to high school teams for events like indoor track meets.
Hockey season, especially, has caused some major concerns for school athletic administrators since the state has some 20 co-op teams, those teams are comprised of athletes from different towns and different area schools that practice and play together.
Another possibility that's currently on the table would be virtual meets for such sports as swimming and gymnastics. These sports would hold their competitions on line from separate venues which would allow schools to hold the events, but limit the interaction to cut down on the spread of the virus.
So, for now it's just a waiting game, and like in the fall, look for the CIAC and the Connecticut Department of Public Health to go back and forth until a compromise is reached.