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CIAC decides against 11 on 11 football this fall

Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference officials decided Friday that 11 on 11 football will not happen this fall, based on adherence to Department of Public Health guidelines. A potential spring football season, however, will be discussed in the coming days.

Volleyball, another sport the DPH deemed as "higher risk," will move forward with the modification of players wearing masks.

"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," per a CIAC release. "While the CIAC's fall sports offerings are now aligned with DPH recommendations, it still stresses that progression to full team practices and moderate risk activities on September 21 and game play on October 1 is dependent on COVID metrics that support such activities."

The DPH's position on football has not wavered, saying it is "unlikely to support higher risk activities for the fall term."

"Without DPH support, the CIAC cannot 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 CIAC release said.

"As such, the CIAC Board of Control, in alignment with DPH recommendations, has determined that high risk full contact football is no longer a viable option. In alignment with DPH's encouragement to consider modifications to higher risk activities, the CIAC will collaborate with athletic directors, coaches, and medical experts to provide football players with meaningful low to moderate risk fall activities."

The CIAC Board of Control ruled in late August that spring or second semester football would not be an option, despite decisions from other states to do so. Ledyard assistant principal/athletic director Jim Buonocore said Friday the discussion is not over.

"I believe we have enough support to bring that option back to the table," Buonocore said. "We would need the Board of Control to change course and give approval. But right now, I am getting a strong feeling that there is interest from across the state to provide an 11 v 11 opportunity in the second semester.

"I am a strong supporter of playing football this academic school year. Our kids have no other outlet to play the sport. If we can find another time frame, let's look at that and exhaust all options. We are very thankful we will continue with our fall sports offerings at this time, but my heart breaks for our football players.

"We will continue discussions to look at alternate opportunities for the sport this fall, if feasible. Our league will begin immediate discussion."

m.dimauro@theday.com

 

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