CIAC cancels high school spring sports…for now

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Following an online meeting with nearly 70 school, athletic and governmental leaders on Wednesday morning, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference decided to hold off on canceling spring sports for now. While the spring season would not start on time, there is a hope it can start in the near future. A press release on Wednesday said that “canceling the entirety of the spring sports season is premature at this time.”

The press release went on to say that “there is a strong desire to provide student athletes some spring athletic experience if possible. Any plan for spring sports will need to adhere to the guidelines from the governor’s office, department of education and health experts regarding the potential reopening of schools to establish a specific time frame.”

“These are unprecedented challenges for our schools, and it is of the utmost importance that we provide answers and a structure to support our membership and maintain the possibility of a spring sports experience for our student-athletes,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said. “CIAC understands the value of providing students a spring sports experience, if possible. However, the health and safety of our communities must remain at the center of our decision making.”

The press release stated that the uncertainty of when schools will re-open “requires the understanding that any plans to begin spring sports will be fluid and should have the ability to reflect the different needs of different school communities.”

Lungarini said in a press conference later Wednesday that there is no specific threshold of when the decision will be made to cancel the season entirely. He also did not rule out the possibility of playing past the end of the school year, but it would take more discussion and examination. Lungarini said he expects the CIAC to meet again in about a week or so to discuss the spring season, but no specific date was set as of Wednesday.

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Lungarini encouraged student athletes to be hopeful but also urged them to practice social distancing until they return to school and to the field.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at Sports@SouthingtonObserver.com.