The decision whether or not high school boys golf stays in the spring or moves to the fall in 2021 rests with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s Board of Control.
The Board of Control is scheduled to meet on Feb. 20. The members could either vote to move golf from the spring season to the fall beginning in 2021 — it would need a simple majority vote to be approved — or keep it in the spring if not a majority.
There is also the chance the board may send the proposal back to the CIAC golf committee for further discussion or amending. The golf committee is in favor of the move to the fall.
“My biggest concern is what is the right thing for kids who play golf,” said Joe Velardi, the CIAC golf committee liaison. “From the perspective of our schools, we need to keep our eye on what’s good for the most number of kids across the state.”
Velardi said last spring, there was 72-percent approval from the CIAC’s membership schools comprised of coaches, athletic directors and principals. In a poll taken by the The Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors (CAAD) in November of just athletic directors, that approval was down to 54 percent, according to Velardi.
It was then that CAAD and The Connecticut High School Coaches Association executive board both raised some concerns regarding whether there will be enough golf courses to host all of the teams if the move goes through.
“That sounded very inconsistent to me,” Velardi said. “The golf courses were very much in favor of moving golf to the fall. The (Connecticut State Golf Association) and the Connecticut PGA were also in favor.”
So in December, Velardi began to call golf courses around the state to once again gauge if the facilities would be in favor of a move to the fall. He spoke with owners, head pros and course managers.
Because the FCIAC, SWC and Berkshire were all in favor of the move, Velardi said he did not speak with the courses that host those particular leagues, but all of the other ones that hosted high school programs.
His findings were as follows: courses that hosted 107 of the teams preferred moving to the fall; 18 schools/courses felt either the fall or spring would work about the same; 16 schools/courses said accommodating the teams during the fall season would be difficult; and five said they would not be able to accommodate its current teams whatsoever.
One proposal both CAAD and the SWC suggested was asking each individual conference which season its golf programs preferred to play in: the fall or the spring. Both organizations raised the suggestion to the golf committee.
“The golf committee was very strongly against it. As one member put it, ‘It doesn’t pass the smell test, It would water down the (state) championship meets,’” Velardi said.
So after years of proposals to try and become the first CIAC sport to move from one season to another, it likely comes down to Feb. 20 whether it becomes a reality or not.