The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that it has officially canceled the high school football season for this fall.
The CIAC said the decision was made in alignment with the Connecticut Department of Public Health's recommendation that football is a "high-risk" sport in relation to the possible spread of COVID-19.
"CIAC made every effort to weigh all factors in this decision, including the passionate voices of students, parents, and school personnel, and ultimately made the determination to align its decision with the recommendations of the Governor’s office and DPH to not hold high-risk sports at this time,” CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said in a news release. “In conversation with other state associations across the country, it was clear that a key factor in playing interscholastic football was alignment with the opinion of their state’s governor and state health agency.”
The CIAC said it would recommend low-and-moderate risk football activities that schools would be allowed to hold for their student-athletes. Those recommendations will be made by the end of the week, Lungarini said.
The organization also left open the possibility of playing a football season at a later date if it didn't interfere with spring sports.
The CIAC met with the Department of Public Health last week to try and reach an agreement on mitigation factors that might make full-contact football possible, but the DPH said the proposals did not change football to a moderate-risk sport.
In its decision to consider playing football at a later time, the CIAC said it will have to consider many factors, including:
- How many sports are impacted to the extent where it cannot compete during its regularly scheduled season?
- What other public health strategies have become available and are supported with better research?
- How will facility scheduling be impacted?
- The impact to field maintenance and playability.
- The viability of synthetic surface fields passing the G-max test during winter months.
- How has the COVID climate in Connecticut improved to support interscholastic high-risk athletics at a later time?
During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Lungarini said schools could still play football as a club sport this fall, but those games wouldn't be sanctioned by the CIAC.
Any student-athletes who were to play club football in the fall would still be eligible to play in the spring if the CIAC were to hold a season then, Lungarini said.