CIAC winter sports proposal would push start date of hockey competition, high risk sports to 2021; basketball and boys swimming will be allowed to hold competitions on Dec. 17

Shawn McFarland, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is proposing a Dec. 5 start date for high school boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and swimming practices, a source confirmed to The Courant on Monday. The proposal, which states that high risk sports (wrestling, competitive cheer and competitive dance) as well as indoor track and gymnastics will be postponed until 2021, still needs to be approved by the CIAC’s board of control, which meets Tuesday.

CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini declined to comment and said that nothing is official until it is approved by the board of control.

The proposal states that girls and boys basketball, as well as boys swimming, can begin holding competitions on Dec. 17. Boys ice hockey, which has been linked to COVID-19 outbreaks across the state, cannot hold any competitions until Jan. 11. Indoor high risk sports, which include wrestling, will not be allowed to practice until Jan. 1. Indoor track and gymnastics also won’t be permitted to practice until Jan. 1. These sports are set to be reevaluated on Jan. 4.

In addition to the proposed start dates, the CIAC, in consultation with its sports medicine committee, recommends that schools located in towns that are classified as “red”, meaning 15-plus positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, should suspend competition. If those schools plan to continue with competition, the administrations of both schools must agree on its continuation.

Under the proposal, basketball will play a maximum if 16 regular season games, with the state tournament set to run from Feb. 15-28. Hockey and boys swimming will play a maximum of 14 regular season games. Boys swimming’s postseason will mirror basketball’s postseason, with hockey’s set to run from Feb. 22 to March 7.

In alignment with the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s recommendations, and sector rules passed down by Gov. Ned Lamont earlier this month, all athletes competing in basketball must wear masks while playing. A one-minute mask break will be instituted at the first stoppage, or at the 4-minute mark of each period.

Similar rules will be in place for hockey, with masks breaks scheduled for the first stoppage of play, or the 4-minute, 8-minute and 12-minute mark of each period.

Shawn McFarland can be reached at smcfarland@courant.com.

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