The CIAC Board of Control voted Thursday to keep the sport of boys golf in the spring rather than moving it to the fall season beginning in 2021.
A majority vote was needed for the proposal to become a reality. CIAC assistant executive director Gregg Simon didn’t reveal the actual vote total when asked.
“(Some member schools) balked at a number of the details, like an earlier starting date (then the other fall sports) and first practice dates (in mid-August). There were a lot of things that would have needed to be done to make it happen,” Simon said.
There had been discussion over the course of the last decade to move the sport to the fall, but none had generated enough steam to be fully supported by the CIAC golf committee, then get to this final stage.
And even despite the vote against the move on Thursday, it is not completely dead. Simon confirmed the Board of Control has asked the CIAC golf committee to re-examine a different proposal to allow some leagues to conduct their seasons in the fall if they chose to — a proposal the committee initially rejected late last year.
“The Board of Control wants the committee to take a hard look at it,” Simon said. “I don’t think the committee had very deep discussions about allowing (some) leagues to play in the fall. Now that they know this proposal is no longer an option, maybe now this other one is an option they need to look at.”
What was once a was 72-percent approval from the CIAC’s membership schools comprised of coaches, athletic directors and principals turned into just 54 percent after the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors (CAAD) did its own poll of just the athletic directors in November.
Issues and concerns about course availability and playing conditions for the CIAC state championship meets in either October or early November were raised.
“The Board of Control felt very strongly that you cannot solve problems for some of our leagues and member schools while creating problems for other leagues and member schools,” Simon said.
Killingly golf coach Kevin Marcoux had been one of the more vocal critics of the proposal because of how it would affect his program. The Eastern Connecticut Conference voted against the move 15-4.
“Of the 12 kids on our team, 11 of them play a fall sport,” said Marcoux, also the school’s athletic director. “This is the nature of Killingly golf as I’m sure this is the nature of small- or middle-sized school golf programs that have multiple-sports athletes. I think as push came to shove, those (schools) who felt strongly about keeping golf in the spring became more vocal, paid attention a little more and had their voices heard. This (move to the fall) would have had a negative effect on my program for years and years to come that I think we may have never recovered from.”
The defeated proposal originated from both the FCIAC and SWC leagues, in part because of the growth of girls golf and courses having enough availability to support multiple teams from the same school or league.
SCC commissioner Al Carbone, for one, says his league is staying put in the spring regardless of whether this latest proposal to give leagues a choice to compete in the fall gets very far or not.
“We have no interest in moving our boys golf teams to the fall unless everybody in the state is moving to the fall,” Carbone said.