CIAC shuts down state tournament, disregards years of work

Over+fear+of+the+rapidly+spreading+coronavirus+the+CIAC+has+cancelled+the+remainder+of+the+state+hockey+tournament%2C+a+wrongful+decision+that+disregards+years+of+hard+work.+

Graphic by Marina Engler ’21

Over fear of the rapidly spreading coronavirus the CIAC has cancelled the remainder of the state hockey tournament, a wrongful decision that disregards years of hard work.

Marina Engler '21

Amid the pandamonium surrounding coronavirus, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has decided to proceed with caution and cancel the remainder of all state tournaments. This was a careless decision that does not take into account the very athletes who are participating in the tournament. 

As a hockey player myself, the cancelling of the state tournament for hockey is what hits so close to home. Although girls hockey is not a CIAC sponsored sport, we still have the chance to compete against teams from all across the state in our own tournament. This year, my team was one spot out of making the state tournament. A mere few points came in between us and the chance to compete for what we worked for all season long. In that regard, I understand the utter disappointment that comes with not being able to compete. However, for the teams that did make it to the tournament, to have their dreams ripped out from underneath them is simply unfair.

The coronavirus is a worldwide issue and should not be taken lightly. As it is seen with leagues such as the NHL, NBA and the NCAA all ending their seasons and tournaments, it would seem as if the CIAC had only one choice in deciding to cancel. 

However, the CIAC could have dealt with the circumstances in a much better manner. Unlike professional athletes who have their entire careers in front of them, highschoolers only have four years to try and achieve the state title. 

The CIAC cancelling all games in the middle of the tournament left many seniors with no closure to the sports they put immense time into. Having to end my season earlier than I would have hoped left me angry knowing that all the hours of training, waking up early for practice and hours at the rink went with no reward. To see all your work pay off by making the tournament, and with a snap of the fingers be gone, is a feeling no one should have. 

Many adults are quick to say that this is not that big of a deal and kids should realize there are bigger things in the world to worry about. However, I would say that the majority of athletes use sports as an escape from the real world. In a time like today, this is more important than ever. With practically everyone’s lives turned upside down, sports could remain the one constant allowing for some normality in this hectic time. 

Allowing athletes to continue the tournament that was already started is the right thing to do. The CIAC could have handled this unprecedented situation by allowing only close family or no fans to attend the game and livestreaming the game, all while complying to the restrictions set by the government. I would assume that over 100,000 signatures would agree with me on this one.