CIAC Plan Would Allow Ice Hockey, Basketball Practice in Dec.; High-Risk Sports On Hold Until At Least Jan.

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The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is planning to postpone all "high risk" winter sports until after January 1, 2021, while moderate and lower risk sports will be allowed to start practice in December, according to a copy of the plan NBC Connecticut obtained from a source with direct knowledge.

According to the copy of the proposal, high-risk sports like wrestling, competitive cheer, and competitive dance, will not be able to begin practicing until at least January, at which point the CIAC will consult with the state Department of Publuc Health, CSMS Sports Medicine Committee and the governor's office to determine if it is safe to start.

Basketball and ice hockey, considered "moderate risk" under the plan, will be able to begin practice on December 5. Student-athletes will wear face masks as part of a COVID-19 mitigation effort detailed in the plan.

Basketball competitions would be slated to start on December 17, with hockey competition beginning January 11, pending further review from CSMS Sports Medicine Committee and the Department of Public Health.

The dates could change. The plan will be voted on Tuesday morning at the Board of Control meeting, followed by an announcement about the finalized plans in the afternoon.

Interstate youth hockey competition was previously suspended throughout the seven northeastern states.

The governor's office also implemented restrictions on certain sports earlier this month.

Sports Sector Rules

  • No hosting in CT of competitions or tournaments for high and medium risk sports
  • No CT team to travel to out-of-state games
  • No high-risk sports games for rest of 2020 (K-12)
  • Medium-risk indoor sports must wear a mask, including during competition
  • Limit spectators
  • Facilities and leagues must have protocols for spectators, rosters and safety

The state considers the following high risk:

High Risk Sports:

  • 11-on-11 Football
  • Boxing
  • Boys Lacrosse
  • Competitive Cheer
  • Dance
  • Martial Arts
  • Rugby
  • Wrestling

The state looked to enact these regulations in collaboration with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the governor said. They do not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and restrictions, according to the governors.

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Connecticut, forcing officials to reexamine plans and schedules to determine what precautions are necessary for safe play.

The positivity rate came in at 5.4% Monday, with hospitalizations and deaths continuing to rise.

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