CIAC approves restart of conditioning activities

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

The CIAC Board of Control voted Sunday night to resume conditioning activities for all fall sports with an eye on starting non-contact, sport-specific drills this weekend.

The board also made another decision: any fall sport that is canceled will not be played at a later time during the 2020-21 school year.

The decision to resume conditioning came after the CIAC paused all in-person interscholastic sports activity for a week.

The CIAC released a plan earlier this summer that called for delayed, shortened seasons that would allow all traditional fall sports to happen with geographically based schedules and several precautionary phases. Fall sports started conditioning-only workouts three times per week July 6.

On Aug. 13, the state Department of Public Health sent a letter to the CIAC with recommendations including a postponement of football and volleyball to the spring. The CIAC paused sports activity on Aug. 17.

Representatives from the CIAC and the DPH met last week to discuss fall sports.

In a statement issued Sunday, the CIAC said the decision to restart conditioning for all fall sports was made “in alignment with positive discussions” with the DPH.

Fall sports teams can resume conditioning Monday. The CIAC said schools can start non-contact, sport-specific skill work on Saturday. Both conditioning and skill work are to be done with small cohorts of athletes.

The CIAC’s plan released earlier this summer delayed the start of competition from the original start date of Sept. 10 to Sept. 24 and shortened seasons. All regular seasons must be finished by Oct. 30 and include no more than 12 games for all sports but football, which will only get to play six, according to the plan.

However, it remains unclear whether there will be a fall season at all. The CIAC said Sunday the plan is fluid and it will work this week to finalize the timeline of full team activities and games.