With input from game officials, the CIAC will have baseball and softball catchers wear close-fitting masks in games to begin the season, and the players and official conducting the draw in girls lacrosse will do the same, according to the updated plan for the spring high school sports season.
There are tweaks in the plan to pregame conferences and stick measurements in boys lacrosse for similar COVID-19 distancing reasons, and it also has more detail and clarification on the boys’ faceoff rules changes that were announced earlier.
UPDATED: CIAC SPRING SPORTS PLAN/GUIDELINES
CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said the changes will add to officials’ comfort level on the field.
“The catcher and the home-plate umpire are in close contact. We added that in for the beginning of the season, and we’ll continue to evaluate it,” Lungarini said.
“It’s the same thing in girls lacrosse. The official is in close contact with the two girls on the faceoff. The two girls involved in the faceoff will wear masks during the faceoff, and once it’s done and they’re in the rhythm of the game, they can pull the mask down and continue to play.”
Masks aren’t required for boys lacrosse faceoffs, Lungarini said, because the official places the ball down and backs away before there’s close contact with players.
The updated plan also says that baseball and softball coaches won’t be allowed on the field of play to argue a call.
“Talking with our officials, they asked if we could just be explicit in instructing coaches that they shouldn’t come on the field,” Lungarini said. “We don’t want people face-to-face.”
Players in boys volleyball, the only indoor spring sport, had been the only spring athletes expected to wear masks in competition, as girls volleyball players had in the fall. Masks are required in all sports for coaches and for players who aren’t actively competing.
Workouts for baseball pitchers and catchers were allowed as of this past Saturday. The first practice date for the rest of the team and for every other sport is this coming Saturday. Contests begin April 10 with full CIAC state championships planned.