By Matt Noonan
The state of Connecticut became the fourth New England state to greenlight fall sports this afternoon, including football, despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19).
Today’s announcement from the nutmeg state follows a similar notification from Jay Nichols, who is the executive director for the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA), during Governor Phil Scott‘s press conference on Monday. But unlike Vermont, which plans to play seven-on-seven football this year, Connecticut will play tackle football.
Maine and New Hampshire will also allow tackle football to be played this fall, but those plans like Connecticut’s could change pending how each state continues to contain the virus.
Prior to this afternoon’s announcement regarding plans for fall sports, there seemed to be some momentum from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) football committee to move the upcoming season to next February. But that plan was nixed after the organization heard from its various “stakeholders group” during today’s meeting.
“The major decisions (in deciding to go ahead with fall sports) was hearing from all of our stakeholder groups today,” said Glenn Lungarini, who is the executive director of the CIAC.
“We had an opportunity to continue to collaborate with all of our education stakeholders and hear directly from our medical advisory group, and at this point, they strongly feel that the COVID-metrics in Connecticut have not changed from when we approved the plan on July 30. (We believe) that it is safe to play all sports as scheduled right now with the mitigating factors that we have in place, including football.”
According to the CIAC website, high school football practices can begin as soon as next Monday, August 17 in cohorts of 15. Full team practices can start Friday, September 11 followed by scrimmages one week later (September 18).
The CIAC’s 2020 football season will start on Thursday, September 24 with teams being permitted to play a maximum of six contests. The final date for all teams to compete is Friday, October 30.
Following the conclusion of the 2020 regular season, the CIAC will provide its programs with a postseason from Monday, November 2 to Sunday, November 15.