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The high school winter sports season has come to an abrupt and unexpected end. The CIAC announced today that all remaining tournament games are canceled due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
"We must place the health and safety of our student athletes first," said CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini. "At this time, the best use of our membership's time is to focus on the educational needs of our students."
The decision to cancel the remaining winter sports schedule was made at a 9 a.m. meeting on March 10 following discussions with school superintendents who had participated in a phone call with Governor Ned Lamont the previous day.
"We do believe this is what is best for all of our schools an communities throughout Connecticut right now," Lungarini said. "We don't know how this will impact us within Connecticut. What may seem like a bold and unprecedented move, by the end of the day today or tomorrow may very well be the direction."
Lungarini sympathized with seniors who would have been participating in their final tournaments. He noted boys' ice hockey and boys' basketball were all currently in the first round of tournament play while boys' swimming had not yet held divisional meets.
"It's difficult to say to seniors and others that they won't have the opportunity to finish these tournaments," Lungarini said. "We certainly understand and appreciate the emotion that sports bring. We do take into account that there are seniors who are looking forward to that last game, looking forward to making that run to the championship. I would encourage them to think about what they have been able to accomplish and what they have eben able to realize, not only this year but throughout their playing career."
While spring sports are set to begin practices for baseball pitchers and catchers as early as Saturday, March 14, Lungarini said that plans for the spring season have not changed. Practices are expected to begin as scheduled.
"At this point we're not restricting the start of spring sports, but we'll continue to speak to the state departments of health and education for guidance," he said.
The CIAC does not sanction girls' ice hockey, cheerleading, dance, or fencing. The Connecticut High School Girls Hockey Association (CTSGHA) announced the cancellation of the remainder of the CTSGHA State Tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
"Given the recent decision by the CIAC to cancel all winter tournament events, our CHSGHA Committee has also agreed that cancelling the remainder of the CHSGHA State Tournament is the most prudent course of action at this time," the organization Tweeted.
Get ready to celebrate the holidays with our helpful guide
The 2020 Member Directory and Town Guide for Branford, Guilford, North Branford, and Northford has arrived!