League commissioners will meet with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference on Wednesday at 9 a.m. to discuss the future of the spring season.
The CIAC canceled the remainder of its winter tournaments on Tuesday morning due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. It’s been a domino effect since with sports on both a collegiate and professional level being canceled, even collegiate spring sports and its subsequent NCAA championships.
But that doesn’t include high school spring sports in Connecticut.
“I don’t anticipate the season being lost on Wednesday,” CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said. “The reason we are waiting until Wednesday (for the meeting) is we will have a better idea how long the closure in schools may be. We don’t know yet how many schools will be out a week, two weeks, a month. I anticipate by next week, we will have some idea the answers to those questions.”
Lungarini said for those schools still open, pitchers and catchers can still begin workouts on Saturday if those districts so choose, although many will likely not do so. Full practices are scheduled to begin on March 21.
Spring sports are scheduled to begin on April 4.
“I think at this point, I would say the start of spring sports season would be unlikely to happen as scheduled, but that determination will be made (on Wednesday),” Lungarini said.
FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz said he has been in contact with all of his spring coaches as well as parents, trying to answer questions as best as he possibly can.
“Everything is an option,” Schulz said. “We want the kids to have their seasons, especially the seniors. But we also want people to be healthy. Look at what is going on in Europe where they didn’t react quick enough.”
The SCC had its monthly meeting on Wednesday morning. League commissioner Al Carbone said the possibility of canceling league tournaments for baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys tennis and boys volleyball was discussed at length.
“We are trying to be proactive and think of possible alternatives and solutions so we can be helpful to the CIAC,” Carbone said. “If we have to give up our league playoffs so teams can get league games in order to get to the state playoffs, we’re willing to give up something, we think is important to us to do that. My goal is to get our student-athletes an opportunity to play in the postseason and I think everybody in our league shares that sentiment. Hopefully, this won’t end up being the case.”
Lungarini said he has had some email correspondence with athletic directors this week, but that communication normally goes through Fred Balsamo, the executive director of the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors, who will attend Wednesday’s meeting, according to Lungarini.
Since there are so many unknowns at this point, its is difficult to determine when the season could start.
“What is the date which we can reasonably get a regular season in and give us the opportunity to run a state tournament?” Lungarini asked rhetorically. “It’s safe to say that we will be in school late into June.”
The state finals are scheduled to end on June 13. Lungarini said discussion of waiving season limitation rules can be had.
“This would be something we’d be willing to talk to our Board (of Control) and find ways to grant exemptions. Our goal is to give kids as much of an opportunity to play when we come back,” Lungarini said.
And right now, no one has the answer to when that will be.
All-star games canceled
The CHSCA All-Star boys basketball festival, scheduled for Morgan in Clinton on March 25, has been canceled.
The CHSCA Senior All Star Games for girls basketball, scheduled for March 23 at Mercy in Middletown, have been canceled.
The Connecticut Junior and Senior All-Star boys hockey games scheduled for March 29 at Bennett Rink and the Connecticut vs. Massachusetts All-Star Game on April 4, also at Bennett, have been canceled as well.
The JCC Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Classic is still on for April 19 at the Sheehan Center in Bridgeport.