Students Protest Decision to Cancel Sports Tournaments Over Coronavirus Concerns

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A day after the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced it was canceling all remaining CIAC winter tournament games amid concerns about coronavirus, a large group, including student athletes, gathered outside the CIAC office in Cheshire to protest the decision.

Several people who are gathered held signs with messages, including "Look at What You Did," "Let Us Play" and "Help the Seniors" and they chanted, "no sports, no school" and "let us play."

Many students, especially seniors, are upset about not being able to finish the seasons.

"We could have had our last game on Tuesday. Everyone was ready. The boys were prepping for the game and then we find out in econ that the game got canceled from the swimming coach who started crying in class as well," Brandon Waitt, a senior at Northwest Catholic said.

The CIAC made the announcement about the cancellations during a news conference on Tuesday morning.

"It's the hardest decision that we've ever had to make," Glenn Lungarini, the executive director of the CIAC, said. "We understand the passion that comes with playing high school athletics. We certainly understand the disappointment that students, athletes, their parents and our coaches were going to feel because of this decision."

See the schedule here.

Students, coaches and parents across the state reacted to the news Many athletes, like the boys basketball players at Norwich Free Academy, were disappointed.

“A moment of, almost, sorrow because we don’t know if we are ever going to be able to play and coach together again. We did not know that the last game was our last game together,” said Noland Molkenthi, a senior on the team.

The NFA Wildcats had an undefeated season and were hoping they would win the school’s first state championship this year. The team still held their practice this afternoon even though their state tournament game scheduled for tomorrow will no longer happen.

“Our motto everyday has been to get better,” said Coach Chris Guisti. “We are just going to prepare for the next one. Whether it is some time next year or in the future, we are just going to keep getting ready for our next challenge.”

The news was especially difficult for high school seniors.

“We feel like it is unaccomplished. We are not at our goal yet,” said Xavier Marquez, a senior on NFA’s team. “Just to be stopped short of what we have been wanting to achieve since I was a freshman here, it is really heart-breaking and devastating.”

The students are hoping the CIAC will reconsider its decision.

Boys Basketball Winter Championship

Division I

The Division 1 basketball games planned for Wednesday include Sacred Heart v. Fairfield Prep, Windsor v. Fairfield Warde, Notre Dame West Haven v. Manchester, Immaculate v. Hamden, Norwich Free Academy v. New Britain, Hillhouse v. Trinity Catholic, East Catholic v. Wilbur Cross and Ridgefield v. Glastonbury.

Division II

Division II boys basketball tournament games planned for Tuesday include Pomperaug v. Southington, Crosby v. Hartford Public. West Haven v. Amity, Bristol Central v. Bunnell, Xavier v. McMahon, Holy Cross v. Kennedy, Amistad v. Waterford, Waterbury Career Academy v. Weaver, Middletown v. Wethersfield, Staples v. Enfield, Newtown v. Stamford, Farmington v. Newigton and Kolbe v. Guilford.

Division III

Division III boys basketball games scheduled for Wednesday included Tolland v. St. Paul, Westhill v. Sheehan, Fairfield Liudlowe v. New Canaan, Wamogo v. Avon, Northwest Catholic v. E.O. Smith, St. Joseph v. Jonathan Law, Capital Prep v. Conard and Shelton v. Ledyard.

Division IV

Division IV boys basketball tournament game planned for Tuesday include Ansonia v. Aerospace, East Hampton v. Northwestern, Goodwin Tech v. RHAM, Barlow v. Woodland, Killingly v. Lyman Memorial, Ellington v. Lewis Mills, Abbott Tech v. Cromwell, Platt Tech v. Classical, Nonnewaug v. Bulkeley, Granby v. Wilby, Masuk v. Weston, Griswold v. Rockville and Suffield v. Foran.

Division V

Division V boys basketball championship games scheduled for Wednesday include Old Lyme v. Stafford, Montville v. Morgan, Somers v. Watertown, Windham Tech v. Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, Bulls Haven v. Wheeler, Shepaug v. Teryville, Valley Regional v. Thomaston and Achievement First v. Hale Ray.

The organization is not changing any scheduled spring events and they said there is no guidance about outdoor events.

Boys volleyball is the only spring event that is held indoors and it is more than a month away, CIAC officials said Tuesday. They will continue to speak with public health officials, as well as the state department of education.

Girls Basketball Winter Championship

Class LL Girls Basketball

Games scheduled for Friday include Staples v. Greenwich and Newtown v. Hamden.

Class L Girls Basketball

Games planned for Thursday include Notre Dame Fairfield v. Windsor, Daniel Hand v. East Lyme, St. Paul v. Wethersfield and Newington v. Pomperaug.

Class MM Girls Basketball

Games planned for Thursday include Jonathan Law v. Kolbe, New Fairfield v. Northwest Catholic, Hillhouse v. Sacred Heart and Sheehan v. East Haven.

Class M Girls Basketball

The game planned for Tuesday was Canton v. Coginchaug, with the winner taking on Holy Cross on Friday.

The other game that was scheduled for Friday was Cromwell v. Bloomfield.

Class S Girls Basketball

Games that were planned for Thursday include East Hampton v. Old Lyme, Windsor Locks v. Shepaug, Putnam v. Thomaston and Parish Hill v. East Windsor.

Boys Ice Hockey Championships

Division I Ice Hockey

Games planned for Tuesday include Greenwich v. West Haven, Darien v. Northwest Catholic, Notre Dame Fairfield v. Hamden, New Canaan v. St. Joseph, Simsbury v. Ridgefield, Fairfield Prep v. Immaculate and Xavier v, Warde/Ludlowe.

Division II Ice Hockey

Tournament games planned for Friday included Branford v. Glastonbury, WMRP v. Westhill-Stamford, Daniel Hand v. North Haven and Farmington Valley v. Lyman Hall-Haddam Killingworth-Coginchaug.

Division III Ice Hockey

Tournament games planned for Thursday included Sheehan v. Enfield-East Granby-Stafford, New Milford v. Tri-Town, Housatonic-NW-Wamogo-Torrington v. McMahon-Norwalk and Hall/Southington v. Wilton.

Boys Swimming Championships

Open Boys Swimming

  • Diving - Thursday, March 19, 5:30 p.m. at Bulkeley 
  • Swimming - Saturday, March 21, 7 p.m. at Yale 

Class LL Boys Swimming

  • Diving - Wednesday, March 11, 5:30 p.m. at Middletown 
  • Swimming Trials - Saturday, March 14, 11:30 a.m. at East Hartford 
  • Swimming Championship - Tuesday, March 17, 6 p.m. at Wesleyan

Class L Boys Swimming

  • Diving - Thursday, March 12, 5:30 p.m. at Middletown 
  • Swimming Trials - Saturday, March 14, 5 p.m. at Cornerstone 
  • Swimming Championship - Tuesday, March 17, 1:30 p.m. at Wesleyan

Class M Boys Swimming

  • Diving - Thursday, March 12, 5:30 p.m. at Bulkeley 
  • Swimming Trials - Saturday, March 14, 6 p.m. at East Hartford 
  • Swimming Championship - Wednesday, March 18, 6 p.m. at Wesleyan

Class S Boys Swimming

  • Diving - Wednesday, March 11, 5:30 at Plainville 
  • Swimming Trials - Saturday, March 14, 5:15 at Cheshire Community Pool 
  • Swimming Championship - Tuesday, March 18, 1:30 at Wesleyan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that there have been 647 cases of coronavirus in the United States and 25 deaths.

There have been three cases in Connecticut.

Fifty four people in Connecticut who have been tested for coronavirus had negative test results.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.

Coronavirus Prevention Steps

Steps for prevention from the CDC include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
    • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
    • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
    • Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
    • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus

Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  3. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.

  • If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.

The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.

Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.

You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.

Learn More About Coronavirus - COVID-19

Learn more here from the state about Coronavirus.

Contact Us