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The CIAC and its Executive Director Glenn Lungarini have announced that all postseason events for the 2020 spring season are canceled, but that there is still a chance for sports to be played in June. (Photo by Chris Negrini/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced that it has canceled all of its postseason tournaments and championship meets for the 2020 spring high school sports season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the CIAC also announced that it is hoping to offer the state’s student-athletes some form of a spring sports experience during the month of June. CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini made these announcements at the organization’s Board of Control meeting on April 23.
“The CIAC has...decided that we will not run any spring state championship events,” the CIAC said in a press release. “It is our position that any spring sports experience should maximize opportunities for student-athletes within individual schools and leagues.”
The CIAC’s decisions regarding the spring season came six weeks after it canceled all remaining State Tournament games for the 2019-’20 winter campaign on March 10. Then on March 18, the CIAC announced that the start of the 2020 spring season, which was slated to get underway on April 4, had also been postponed. In order for there to be any chance of spring sports being played this year, schools would have to reopen. As of now, state schools are closed until at least Wednesday, May 20.
“All potential spring sport opportunities are contingent upon the Governor’s office and the state Department of Education declaring that it is safe to return to school campuses and for athletic competition to resume,” the CIAC said. “If it is determined that school buildings will remain closed and distance learning will continue through the end of the 2019-’20 school year, then the CIAC will cancel all spring sport experiences.”
Several other states have already closed schools for the rest of the school year and have also canceled their spring sports seasons. Connecticut was the first state to cancel its winter season.
The varsity sports that are played during the spring include baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, outdoor track, crew, and sailing. Lungarini had originally stated that there was a possibility for spring sports to be played in July, although that is no longer an option.
“After much consideration, the CIAC has decided that any potential spring sports experiences will be limited to the month of June,” said the CIAC’s press release. “Carrying spring sport experiences from the current school year into July presents significant challenges for school districts and student-athletes.”
The CIAC made its latest decisions after surveying superintendents, principals, and athletic directors from around the state, in addition to consulting with the Connecticut State Medical Society’s Sports Medicine Committee. The CIAC also collaborated with State of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, sought input from the Department of Health, and engaged in numerous conversations with student-athletes and parents. The CIAC will revisit its options for the 2020 spring season when it holds its next Board of Control meeting on Thursday, May 7.
“As we prepare for our May 7...meeting, we will continue collaboration with all stakeholder groups,” the CIAC said. “We anticipate further guidance from the Commissioner Cardona and Governor [Ned] Lamont on the status of school closures, as well as criteria for safely returning to community events and activities.”
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the postponement, suspension, and cancellation 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 sports organizations. The 2020 Summer Olympics were postponed from this year until next year. The WNBA and NFL recently held their annual drafts virtually via videoconferencing.
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