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CIAC Abandons Bid For Fall Football Season

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Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public/NENC
Last week's rally at the Capitol brought players and coaches together to call for a fall football season.

Traditional high school football won’t be played in Connecticut this fall. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference -- the governing body of state high school sports -- said the final decision follows a Department of Public Health recommendation to abandon full-contact, 11-on-11 football during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said Wednesday the group has exhausted attempts to get football recognized as a “moderate risk” sport rather than “high risk.”

“With that and the recommendation we have in our state, it gives us now the direction that -- we can’t play now, but if things are available later to play -- that we’ll consider it at that time,” Lungarini said.

The CIAC is considering alternate football activities like 7-on-7 touch football or some kind of “linemen challenge.” Lungarini also said tackle football could happen in the spring, provided it doesn’t impact other CIAC offerings in that season.

Other fall sports like soccer and field hockey will still go on, beginning in October.

Lungarini was asked by reporters on a media call about a recent GameTimeCT report of a Maloney-Meriden football player testing positive for COVID-19. The infected player is said to have attended last week’s rally in Hartford to salvage fall football.

“Nobody is heading into this with the perception that we’re not still playing in a COVID environment,” Lungarini responded. “There is potential that kids are going to get COVID. There’s potential that other people are still going to get COVID.”

Still, he remains confident in mitigation techniques for the sports that do go ahead, like coaches screening symptomatic players.

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