The CIAC has recommended that no spectators be allowed at high school hockey games for the month of February after meeting with the Connecticut Rink Owners Association on Tuesday.
It was also recommended that social distancing be maintained by the players in between periods when the ice is being cut, according to the email sent to the state athletic directors on Wednesday, obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media.
It should be noted the CIAC’s previous recommendation is to have no spectators for any competition, but those decisions are left up to the individual school districts.
There are COVID-19 protocols already in place for the hockey season that begins on Monday: players and coaches wear masks during time spent in competition; a maximum of four coaches allowed on the bench during games; and adult supervision should be monitoring locker room usage at all times.
In addition, the email from CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said the CIAC has meetings scheduled with the Sports Medicine Committee of the Connecticut State Medical Society on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and both the Connecticut Department of Health and Gov. Ned Lamont’s office on Feb. 11.
The National Federation of State High School Associations announced on Tuesday it would no longer be classifying sports into three categories (low, moderate and high risk), instead asking the state associations to consider five factors when considering interscholastic competition.
Those factors are: COVID-19 rates of participants in sports are directly proportional to prevailing community disease rates; participants in non-contact sports show lower rates of COVID-19 than contact sports; outdoor sports show lower rates of spread than indoor sports; face masks worn for indoor sports show comparable spread rates as found in playing outdoors; and “the great majority of sports-related spread of COVID-19 does not appear to occur during sports participation, but from social contact” found from activities surrounding sports teams.
“Knowledge of the virus that causes COVID-19 has evolved, we have increasingly recognized that transmission depends upon multiple factors that cannot be easily accounted for by simply dividing sports into three distinct categories of risk,” the NFHS’ Sports Medicine Advisory Committee said in its release.