The CIAC announced Friday morning their vote not to hold fall interscholastic football in the typical 11×11 format.
The State Dept of Health has recommended switching to a 7×7 style of football that eliminates tackling and line play, but CIAC has held out hope that if low Covid positivity numbers continued, they might increase risk week by week, moving closer to normal full contact play.
It was not to be.
In their statement Friday morning CIAC said, “In regard to football, DPH’s September 3 letter provides no support for the CIAC to continue preparing for a full contact season. …Without DPH support, the CIAC can not move forward with a full contact season as it would place superintendents and boards of education in the impossible position of acting against the recommendation of a state agency.”
The organization did not specify whether a 7×7 format would be adopted.
The announcement concluded somewhat vaguely, saying the CIAC will work with athletic directors and football coaches to provide football players with the best low and moderate risk experiences possible.
The Dept of Health has recommended girls volleyball be played outdoors.
The CIAC in their Sept 3 statement said, “In alignment with DPH’s recommendation to consult its sports medicine committee, the CIAC and its medical experts believe that the modification of wearing masks mitigates the risk expressed by DPH and provides a safe indoor environment for the sport of volleyball.”
“As such, with the modification of players wearing masks indoors, the CIAC has aligned volleyball with DPH’s previous support of full team practice and game schedules for soccer, field hockey, cross country, and swimming.”
The decision on football comes after weeks of suspense. Preseason conditioning was started, paused and resumed. The board of control voted on Aug 23 that any fall sports canceled would not be rescheduled for spring. That was after the CIAC football committee voted earlier in the month to move the season to spring. Then CIAC announced it would proceed with fall sports as planed.
The reaction on Twitter Friday morning was swift.
Dozens of negative comments included that the athletes’ workouts over the summer were a waste, that CIAC’s weeks of indecision strung athletes along, that 7×7 football would amount to playing flag football, and that the CIAC should not have pushed back against the Dept of Health in the first place. Others said football should be allowed to continue if soccer is allowed to continue.