High school athletic directors and indoor track coaches and athletes anxiously await the winter sports guidelines from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Board of Control.
The CIAC Board of Control will meet on Thursday to begin discussions on the fate of winter sports tentatively scheduled to begin Jan. 19.
The guidelines will have an impact on what indoor track will look like, especially at Floyd Little Athletic Center which typically hosts most of the state’s indoor track meets. Floyd Little Athletic Center track meet supervisor-coordinator Bob Davis has developed a detailed plan on how the facility would conduct meets.
Once CIAC and Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines are established, Davis’ plan has to be officially approved by the CIAC, the New Haven Health Department and New Haven Board of Education. While the plan will be impacted and potentially need to be adjusted depending on the guidelines, Davis is confident the Floyd Little Athletic Center will likely be opened for meets in some form of capacity.
But what if the unlikely happens and the Floyd Little Athletic Center, which hosts anywhere from 30-35 indoor track meets, isn’t allowed to open? Would other indoor track venues around the state take up the slack and add some meets that are usually held in the New Haven facility?
While some statewide facilities would not add indoor track meets others are in a wait-and-see mode depending on what the final CIAC/CDPH guidelines will be.
Indoor track venues at Southern Connecticut State and Coast Guard Academy would not host any high school meets.
“The university has not reopened for outside rentals,” said Joe Hines, Southern Connecticut State associate athletic director of facilities and operations. “There are no protocols in place at this time that can ease the burden of university staff should there be a need to contact trace an outside rental event held on campus.”
Coast Guard assistant athletic director for media relations Jason Southard said the college would not host any high school events because the entire campus is closed to visitors at this time.
Wilton athletic director Chris McDougal is waiting for the state winter sports guidelines before moving forward with meets at the school’s indoor track facility in the Nicholas Zeoli Field house.
“It is unlikely we will hold additional meets, but I am always optimistic and willing to help out in any capacity I can,” McDougal said. “The Nicholas Zeoli Field House is nowhere the size of the Floyd Little Athletic Center. It would take a ton of planning and organization, not to mention the approval from our town health director.
“I have a plan ready to give to him, but I am waiting to hear what the CIAC says this week before finalizing it.”
Bethel athletic director Mark Caron, who oversees Bethel High’s new state-of-the-art indoor track facility, said the first priority is accommodating South-West Conference schools and meets.
“Bethel’s first priority would be to service the needs of the member schools of the SWC,” Caron said. “Depending on how many athletes are allowed to compete at one time as determined by the CIAC and state and local DPH, we may be able to accommodate some additional meets from schools outside the SWC.
“We will not be able to determine if this is a possibility until we know all the guidelines being imposed on the sport and our venue.”
Staples athletic director Marty Lisevick doesn’t believe additional indoor track meets would be added to the Wreckers’ indoor track facility.
“I seriously doubt that we would add meets,” Lisevick said. “I’m hoping we can run our FCIAC meets in some capacity this winter and that no doubt will be challenging enough.”
Davis, like everyone else, is in the wait-and-see mode when it comes to indoor track at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.
“Nothing new has happened on my end,” Davis said. “I know New Haven will not be moving forward until they get the latest recommendations from the state health department. Erik (New Haven public schools athletic director Erik Patchkofsky) will facilitate a meeting with Maritza Bond, the director of the New Haven Health Department once guidelines are issued.”
Bond will discuss the Floyd Little Athletic Center plan to open once the CIAC/state guidelines are produced.
“We are waiting for the CIAC and CDPH sport guidance that is expected to be issued later this week or early next week,” Bond said. “I will be collaborating with the athletic director (Patchkofsky) on a local plan once the guidance is issued.”