On Friday the CIAC announced Connecticut will play interscholastic sports this fall.
Sports were suspended across the state last March.
The CIAC said considerations in their decision included Connecticut’s health metrics and the successful playing of youth sports since June 20.
They said the plan is fluid and will be closely monitored.
“We know that sports help connect kids to schools communities and peers, and with 70,000 involved in inter-scholastics in Connecticut and feel it’s important to bring those experiences back to our kids,” said Glenn Lungarini, CIAC Executive Director on Friday.
If someone tests positive for the virus, the CIAC said the school must be notified and the local health department will direct appropriate steps.
In advance of the start dates for practice, school may continue conditioning in small cohorts. Conditioning cohorts may be increased to 15 students beginning on August 3.
However, they suggest that schools with cohorts of 10 working successfully remain in that structure until skill work and practice begins.
Conditioning may increase to 90-minute experiences for those programs that are already conditioning, up to the first week of the season.
It is essential that conditioning activities consider heat acclimatization throughout the summer months. Teams may also work in cohorts smaller than 15.
The CIAC said because many student-athletes experienced deconditioning since they lost structured physical activity in March, there will be a three-week conditioning period at the beginning of each sport season to be equitable conditioning across all schools.
All contests will be scheduled regionally, and schedules will be developed over coming weeks.
Regional play will limit travel to mitigate the potential spread the virus across the state.
Additionally, regional play will support what is anticipated to be a challenging transportation period for member schools.
All CIAC games will be played among CIAC member schools, with no out-of -state competitions.
Mitigating strategies are in the works and will be announced going forward. And example is that volleyball will not switch sides after each set and teams will not meet in locker rooms at halftime.
The announcement contained start dates and first contest dates for each sport.
All contests will be scheduled regionally to limit transportation needs and maintain play within a geographic region to reduce COVID spread across the state. The CIAC will work with league commissioners to establish as much play within a league as possible. There will be outlier schools who are more regionally located to schools from other conferences. The CIAC will support leagues and individual schools to develop a balanced regional schedule that provides students with an exceptional education-based athletic experience.
The CIAC will collaborate with league commissioners, athletic directors, and coaches to develop a tournament experience during the last two weeks of the fall season.
No team will be eliminated from competition during this experience to maximize the number of games each team will be able to play through the fall season.