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CIAC meets with sports medicine committee, will decide winter sports start date on Nov. 17

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference met with its sports medicine committee on Wednesday night to discuss guidance on winter sports passed down by the state Department of Public Health, new sports sector rules announced by Gov. Ned Lamont last week, and a start date for the winter high school sports season, which will be approved at the Nov. 17 CIAC board of control meeting.

CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini declined to comment on the meeting.

The CIAC had previously established a Nov. 21 start date for winter sports practices, but postponed that last week. Multiple sources confirmed to The Courant that the CIAC met with athletic directors on Friday to answer questions and discuss a potential start date, though no official proposal was drafted.

“The CIAC understands that, upon approval of its winter sports plan, each member school will need some time to review that document with its local health department,” Lungarini wrote in an email to member athletic directors on Thursday. “Therefore, the CIAC is postponing the November 21 winter sports start date.”

The board of control had planned to meet on Nov. 10 to finalize a plan for all winter sports, though Lungarini told The Courant that rising COVID-19 numbers in Connecticut could force a delay in the decision. The state announced a positivity rate of 4.8% on Wednesday, and has posted a 4.2% positivity rate over the last seven days.

Gov. Lamont announced sector rules for sports, which included a mask mandate for all moderate-risk indoor sports, and the postponment of all high-risk sports competitions until at least 2021 last Thursday. On Monday, the state DPH unveiled updated youth and amateur sports guidelines, which largely mirrored the state’s sector rules for sports. Among them, the DPH recommends that high-risk sports postpone team practices and scrimmages until spring of 2021.

Wrestling is the only high-risk sport sanctioned by the CIAC in the winter. Lungarini told The Courant that wrestling will be a “key discussion point” in both the CIAC’s meeting with its sports medicine committee and at the board of control meeting.

Shawn McFarland can be reached at [email protected]

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