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Finally a final decision on high school football

Science prevailed.

It seemed that the decision not to play traditional 11-on-11 tackle high school football this fall in Connecticut had been made nearly three weeks ago when the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced it.

But then came the parental and student push back, the high-level meetings, the chants to, “Let us play.”

CIAC wavered — again. It let this matter linger far too long with its flip-flopping announcements on whether there would be a season or not. As previously noted, it raised false hopes among players and parents, making this final decision not to play (it is final, right?) all the more painful.

The state Department of Public Health and Gov. Ned Lamont, rightfully, did not buckle to the pressure and stuck to their recommendations. As a high-risk sport, with a high-degree of close interaction, there was just too much risk of COVID-19 infection and spreading the virus to schoolmates, families and the general public.

This firm stance really left the CIAC with no choice. It would have been outrageous, and a high liability risk, to proceed in the face of health warnings.

It was welcomed news to see the CIAC open the door to a possible spring schedule, but athletes should be cautioned to curb their enthusiasm. It is too soon to know if the health situation will be improved by then. And conflicts with traditional spring sports could prove a hurdle too high to overcome.

Distressing are reports of "pop-up" leagues forming, operating outside of the student-athlete domain, to give high schoolers an alternative place to play tackle football. These would carry the same health risks, but who would bear responsibility for the damage that could result? It sounds like a bad idea.

 

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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