CIAC Postpones Start of Spring Sports
CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini announced that spring sports have been postponed indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision came on the heels of the CIAC’s decision to cancel State Tournament play for the 2019-’20 winter campaign. (Photo by Chris Negrini/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
One week after canceling the State Tournaments for the winter season, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced that it is postponing the start of the high school spring season indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini made the announcement in a statement released on the CIAC website on March 18.
“At this point, the CIAC is indefinitely suspending the start of spring sports,” Lungarini said.
Practices for the spring season were slated to begin last weekend, and the 2020 regular season was scheduled to get underway on Saturday, April 4. In order for there to be a spring season, schools in Connecticut would need to resume session. Schools are closed at least through the end of March.
“It is our intention to take the information that becomes available regarding the return to school and control of the spread of the coronavirus to provide our student-athletes with any type of spring sport experience possible,” said Lungarini. “We do so keeping at the center of our decision making the health and safety of everyone in our community. In those efforts, we ask students to please respect the guidance offered by the Governor’s office and the state Department of Education as it pertains to social distancing.”
The CIAC made its decision to indefinitely postpone spring sports following discussions with school administrators, league commissioners, and state legislators, as well as the organization’s Board of Control. The varsity sports that are played during the spring season include baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse, outdoor track, golf, crew, and sailing.
“We want students to be hopeful that we will have some sort of spring experience for our student-athletes, but that should not be received as an invitation to begin practices,” Lungarini said. “The more we can adhere to social distancing, the safer we can keep our communities. The more we can prevent the spread of this virus, and the sooner we will be able to return to our schools and our fields of play.”
Two days after the CIAC made its announcement, Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order that mandates all non-essential business in the state to stay closed for an unspecified amount of time. As of press time, there were 32,368 reported cases of coronavirus in the United States, including 405 fatalities. In Connecticut, there were 223 reported cases that included five fatalities.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the cancellation and postponement of numerous sporting events around the world. The NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, along with all of its postseason tournaments and championships for the winter and spring seasons. The NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS have all suspended their seasons indefinitely, as have several other professional organizations for sports such as auto racing, golf, and tennis. The 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan from July 22 to Aug. 9, but several qualifying events have been postponed or canceled, and there is concern that the games will be either be postponed or canceled.