CIAC postpones the winter season until Jan. 19

The+CIAC+delayed+the+winter+sports+season+until+Jan.+19%2C+2021+after+a+rise+in+COVID+cases+statewide+to+ensure+the+safety+of+all+students.+

Photo by Gabriella Gerig ’23

The CIAC delayed the winter sports season until Jan. 19, 2021 after a rise in COVID cases statewide to ensure the safety of all students.

Gabriella Gerig ’23

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced on Nov. 17 that the high school winter sports season will be postponed until Jan. 19, 2021.
With a rise in COVID-19 cases across the state, the CIAC decided that winter sports pose too much risk to the community’s safety to commence. Westport, specifically, has been readmitted as a “red zone” prompting the recent shutdowns of Bedford, Coleytown Middle School and Staples High School.
“The reason behind the CIAC board’s decision is due to the increase in COVID numbers within the state of Connecticut,” Glenn Lungarini, the CAS-CIAS executive director, said in a press conference. “This CIAC Board of Control continues to place in person learning and the health and safety of our school communities as a top priority.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, higher risk winter sports include wrestling, competitive cheer and dance because of the required close contact between participants and the lack of protection. Moderate-risk sports include basketball, gymnastics and ice hockey and will require masks and the enforcement of social distancing starting in January.
“I was very upset because I was looking forward to having a winter season,” Caleigh Coughlin ’23, a member on the Staples’ indoor track team, said. “After thinking about it, I realized that it was necessary to keep everyone safe and it obviously is the right thing to do.”
This decision is disappointing for many student athletes, but they understand the reasoning behind it. Still, optimism exists for a future season.
“Even though I would be heartbroken if we didn’t have a season, my initial reaction to the postponement was one of understanding,” Marley Lopez-Paul ’21, a senior on the girls’ basketball team, said. “I do believe we are going to have a season this year though it may look a lot different than a normal season.”