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CIAC cancels spring state tournaments, hope still alive to play some games – The Collinsville Press
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CIAC cancels spring state tournaments, hope still alive to play some games

There will be no state championship tournaments this spring in Connecticut. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) canceled their state tournaments in all spring sports including baseball, softball, track and field, tennis, golf and lacrosse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools in Connecticut are still closed due an order from Gov. Ned Lamont and have been closed since March 16 to help stop the spread of the contagious coronavirus. In late March, Lamont extended the closing date through April 20. In early April, Lamont extended the school closure to May 20.

Lamont did tell a New York City radio station on March 24 that schools would not reopen again this school year but has not yet made that decision.

Athletic teams cannot practice until schools are back in session. So, even if schools were to resume on May 20, the CIAC said that athletes would need at least a week of practice before they could safely compete against each other.

The CIAC did not cancel all spring sports. The possibility remains that some scholastic competition could be held in June but schools would have to be open for athletes to have permission to compete.

“All potential spring sport opportunities are contingent upon the governor’s office and the state Department of Education declaring that it is safe to return to school campuses and for athletic competition to resume,” the CIAC said in a statement on Thursday.

The CIAC said that they surveyed superintendents, principals, and athletic directors. In addition, the CIAC said they consulted with the Connecticut State Medical Society, Sports Medicine Committee, State Education Department Commissioner Dr. Miquel A. Cardona, sought input from the Department of Public Health, and received numerous communications from student-athletes and parents.

The CIAC canceled the remaining winter sport tournaments on March 17. Boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming and ice hockey had not completed their tournaments. All spring sports were suspended indefinitely the next day by the CIAC.

It will be the first season since 1955 that a state baseball tournament won’t be hosted by the CIAC. A state tournament in boys golf has been held each year since 1946 and the boys track and field and the boys tennis tournaments have been consecutively since 1929.

The CIAC began hosting state tournament competition for girls at a much later date. Girls track and field began in 1969 and girls tennis resumed in 1971 after a 44-year break. There was a state tournament for girls tennis from 1928-37. The CIAC began hosting girls softball tournaments in 1975.

Lacrosse tournaments are relatively new. The boys tournament began in 1995 with girls competition beginning in 2004. Girls golf debuted in 2003. The CIAC began hosting boys volleyball championship tournaments in 2001.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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