CIAC Fall Sports Plan Calls For Shortened Seasons, No Thanksgiving Day Football

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The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference released details Friday on its plan for the fall school sports season.

Football teams will play a six-game schedule. All other fall sports will play 12-game schedules.

The start of practice for all teams will be on August 27. Coaches will need to cohort student-athletes in groups of 15 for practices.

Football programs will be allowed to conduct organized team activities Aug. 17-19, according to the CIAC. That will give the teams a chance to distribute equipment and review playbooks.

Parents and students reacted Friday to the CIAC plan to go ahead with a fall sports season.

See the Full CIAC Plan Here

Full team training can begin on September 11.

The start of the season will be on September 24 and end on October 30. The cross country season will end on October 29.

The post-season for all sports will be held between November 2 and November 15.

This will mean that the schools will not be able to hold their traditional Thanksgiving Day football rivalry games.

The season for all sports will include regionalized scheduling, officials confirmed Thursday. They said they have not determined how they will structure the tournament experience.

Fan attendance at games will be determined by the individual districts.

Details on the CIAC guidelines for the fall were released a day after Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke at a conference with Gov. Ned Lamont. He said he did not see how football, or any contact sports, could be played this fall.

"We need to be safe and put safety first and I think contact sports are not a good idea," he said.

CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini responded to the remarks on Thursday.

“One of the sentences on our cover page of the program is ‘this plan remains fluid. It is in a state of perpetual evaluation and we need to continue to gather data and look at the health metrics in Connecticut and information that we know on sports as it comes in and becomes available," he said. "We understand that what we have today can change based on what the health metrics and the recommendations are tomorrow. But we recognize that our student-athletes really need sports, not just the educational component of this to truly come back to that school experience.”

The CIAC canceled interscholastic tournaments in March and called off the spring sports season when Connecticut was at its peak of coronavirus cases and deaths during late April and early May.

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